SMIC and ASTRI in China Team on Development of Ultra Wideband Integrated Circuit

By Arvind Arora April 23, 2008
Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation (SMIC) has formed an alliance with the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute (ASTRI) to create what the two organizations claim is the first-ever dual-mode ultra wideband (UWB) MAC integrated circuit (IC).
The IC is built using SMIC’s 0.13 micrometer (um) mix-mode complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology. SMIC's Shanghai-based radio frequency (RF) group facilitates mixed-signal open lab services and design support for 0.18 micrometer, 0.13 micrometer and more advanced technologies.
ASTRI and SMIC aim to offer wideband technology to pave the way for development of advanced wireless RF ICs in China.
The new IC is be compliant with WiMedia Alliance standards, and supports the Wireless Link Protocol (WLP/WiNET) and Information Group Resource Sharing (IGRS) standard networking applications. Advanced multi-hop connectivity and Video/Audio Quality of Service (QoS) features are embedded into the design.
Wireless Personal Area Networking applications help electronic manufacturers create advanced, high speed, effective , and seamlessly connected multimedia consumer products — and this is the main target for ASTRI and SMIC’s new IC.
The product is designed to supports UWB wireless data transmitting and receiving at rates of 53.3Mb/s, 80Mb/s, 106.67Mb/s, 160Mb/s, 200Mb/s, 320Mb/s, 400Mb/s, and 480Mb/s. It also supports a 32-bit direct Peripheral Component Interconnect (PCI) 2.2 host bus interface.
SMIC's 0.13 micrometer CMOS process is used to fabricate the new MAC application specific integrated circuit (ASIC), which is being offered in a fpBGA-144 Package, with drivers and APIs supporting both Windows and Linux. Also bundled with the new IC is a Mini-PCI Card Reference Design and Soft IP Core including RTL and software/firmware source code. This is part of the ASIC product development kit.
Peter Diu, Vice President of Wireless Multimedia Technologies Group at ASTRI, commented that the introduction of this UWB MAC ASIC will help increase the development of IP-based high speed wireless digital electronics applications for consumer electronics markets with the growing maturity of UWB technology and related protocols and industry standards.
Diu noted that ASTRI will continue contributing its partners to adopt IP-based WLP/WiNET and IGRS-UWB technologies for personal wireless communications and consumer electronics applications as well as wireless mass storage device products.
Lee Yang, a senior research fellow at SMIC, stated that the booming wireless communication market provides opportunities to fabless companies on developing ICs for various applications. Advanced mixed-signal and RF processes are key factors deciding the success of the development of the wireless ICs. He expressed confidence that wireless IC companies will benefit from SMIC's advanced mixed-signal and RF processes, and will be impressed with the success of ASTRI's WiSMAC IC.
Based on mainland China (with headquarters in Shanghai), Semiconductor Manufacturing International Corporation provides integrated circuit (IC) manufacturing service at 0.35 micron to 65 nanometer and finer line technologies.
The Hong Kong Applied Science & Technology Research Institute Company Limited was founded in 2001 by the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region government, with the goal of exploring new technologies. ASTRI's research and development activities are concentrated IC designs, communications technologies, enterprise and consumer electronics, and material and packaging technologies.
ASTRI’s Wireless Multimedia Technologies Group develops  UWB wireless communication technologies.
Arvind Arora is a contributing editor for IoTevolutionworld. To read more of Arvind’s articles, please visit his columnist page.

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