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IQE

28 August 2014

RFaxis offers bare die versions of entire portfolio of pure-CMOS single-chip, single-die RFeICs

Fabless semiconductor firm RFaxis Inc of Irvine, CA, USA, which designs RF semiconductors and embedded antenna solutions for wireless connectivity and cellular mobility, is to offer its entire product line of pure-CMOS, single-chip/single-die RF front-end ICs (RFeICs) in bare die form, enabling customers to further reduce the size and bill of materials (BOM) cost of wireless products for both the Wi-Fi and Internet of Things (IoT) markets.

RFaxis has been in mass production of its RFeICs mostly in industry-standard quad flat no-lead (QFN) packages that range from 3mm x 3mm to 1.6mm x 1.6mm in size, serving a wide spectrum of the fast-growing wireless industry, including IEEE 802.11b/g/a/n/ac WLAN, 802.15.4/ZigBee, Bluetooth/Bluetooth Low Energy, wireless audio/video, home automation, smart energy, and many emerging applications for the IoT.

“By offering customers a complete RF front-end in bare die form, we have set the stage to redefine the landscape of RF for the wireless industry,” claims chairman & CEO Mike Neshat. “By gaining access to bare die, our ODM/OEM customers, specifically our module partners, will be able to offer more compact solutions at much lower costs to their end customers,” he adds.

“The target markets for our RFeICs continue to grow explosively, with Wi-Fi shipments projected to exceed 3 billion units annually by 2017 and the IoT market to reach at least 50 billion units annually by 2020,” Neshat continues. “Some industry experts forecast that the unit cost of IoT sensor nodes will be nearing the $1 range in order to make them ubiquitous, leaving little room for costly semiconductor components such as GaAs or SiGe,” he adds. “With our pure-CMOS bare die solutions, we offer the industry the much sought-after ultimate solution in terms of size, performance and cost.”

Traditionally, the RF front-end - which typically includes the power amplifier (PA) to increase transmission distance, the low-noise amplifier (LNA) to optimize receive sensitivity, and the antenna switch - has been implemented by stitching together several discrete ICs onto a dielectric substrate or package lead-frame, forming the RF front-end module (FEM). In contrast, using its patented technology, RFaxis provides the same functionality and performance of traditional FEMs but with one single-chip/single-die device, fabricated in an industry-standard CMOS process.

RFaxis says that the extremely rugged designs of its RFeICs (including robust ESD and high yield rate) aid the integration of its bare die with other RF transceivers/SoCs into SiP (system-in-package) or other forms of wireless modules. As an example, the RFX1010 - a sub-GHz ZigBee/ISM RFeIC that integrates a half-watt PA, LNA and antenna switch on a single die in standard 0.18 micron CMOS process - is an integral part of a multi-chip module (MCM) offered by one of RFaxis’ transceiver partners which has enabled what is claimed to be the industry’s highest-performance sub-GHz solution with +27dBm transmit power. The RFX1010 has passed the most rigorous qualification process required for industrial-grade applications such as water and gas meters.

Tags: RFaxis CMOS

Visit: www.rfaxis.com

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