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EDA for RF and analog front-ends in the 4G era: Challenges and solutions

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3 Author(s)
de Llera Gonzalez, D.R. ; R. Inst. of Technol., Stockholm ; Rusu, A. ; Ismail, M.

Convergence into 4G wireless communication systems pushes the design of radio receivers beyond limits unconceivable only few years ago. The complexity of RF systems has increased enormously as new communication standards have appeared in the wireless scenario. The convergence trends, enabled by the advances in fabrication technology, have driven the software defined radio (SDR) more and more into the RF and analog front-end. There is a clear need for design automation and advanced simulation techniques at the different levels that go from the system idea to chip fabrication. Reducing the number of design iterations between these levels is key in meeting the increasingly tight time-to-market constraints. As of today, there is not a single tool that covers the complete design flow. Instead, there is an intricate puzzle of design and simulation tools that focus on the various steps that go from system to silicon. The amount of RF and analog EDA tools available is certainly scarce in comparison with their digital counterparts. Most of the design work still depends on the radio engineer, making the process less than optimal. This paper describes some of the challenges faced by today's radio designers and discusses some of the solutions provided by the EDA community.

Published in:

Circuit Theory and Design, 2007. ECCTD 2007. 18th European Conference on

Date of Conference:

27-30 Aug. 2007