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The performance of radio frequency (RF) integrated circuits will strongly influence the versatility and portability of future wireless communication systems. Next-generation wireless technologies promise to deliver substantial improvements in size, weight, portability, power consumption and cost. They will also integrate many different functions including not only voice, but also video, data. In addition, with the advent of newer modulation schemes, such as EDGE as a gateway for 3G, major changes are expected to take place in the infrastructure. These new directions and infrastructure changes present a unique opportunity for academic research in several core technology areas. In particular, research in materials technology, system-level integration, modeling and computer-aided design (CAD) support have potential for making a serious impact and help enable the advent of this new wireless age. The paper discusses some of the challenges which must be surmounted in order to make this possible, and how the University of Illinois high-speed integrated circuits group is tackling them.
Date of Conference: 15-17 Oct. 2003