Friday, March 6, 2009

ADS 2009 Targets HF/HS Co-Design

Agilent has just recently announced the release of ADS 2009, targeting the high-frequency & high speed front end co-design (IC/Package/Board) challenges discussed in February's MWJ lead story - "The Dawn of Nano-scale Technology". The complexity of these designs require tight integration between the the front-end (simulation & verification) and back-end (Cadence or Mentor Graphics)tools. For example, 4G LTE phones must also have Bluetooth, Wifi and MIMO capabilities which means multi-antennas operating over multi-frequency bands while remaining backward compatible with 3G and 2G modes. In turn, high frequency and high speed components will need to fit into smaller volumes and closer proximity with greater undesired interactions. With smart phones be among the few markets in commercial electronics expected to grow in 2009, the pressure to acheive design success is great. Since costs & delays must be kept low, multiple available technologies are being integrated onto the PCB instead of designing all onto an IC.

One of the key components in ADS 2009 to address IC/Package/Board co-design is the new interoperability with Cadence and Mentor backend design platforms, allowing engineers and designers to import:

• Cadence Allegro PCB, Advanced Package Designer (APD) and SIP physical
design data for co-designing with active components
• Design Rule Check (DRC) results from Cadence Assura, Mentor Calibre or
Triquint MailDRC for viewing and correcting within ADS cost-effective
layout environment.

Agilent has also extended ADS 2009 model support to include X-parameters, a form of "black-box" component representation based on non-linear measurements (using the Agilent PNA, non-linear network analyzer). Measured x-parameters can now be used directly in ADS simulation to accurately represent off-the-shelf components.New support for 3D electromagnetic parameterized components representing metal shields,
antenna radomes, absorbers, packages, interconnects, finite dielectric
substrates and wire bonds has also been added.

To read more check out the following presentaion from Agilent EEsof:

Download Now

Thursday, March 5, 2009

World’s Smallest Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Solution

I came across this recently launched product from World Mobile Congress as CSR has worked with Murata and released the CSR9000 which they claim is the world’s smallest Bluetooth and Wi-Fi solution and supports a long list of connectivity technologies: Bluetooth, Bluetooth low energy, Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11abgn) and FM receive and transmit.

This is achieved by a combination of CSR’s ‘Smart Integration’ approach to silicon design as well as being as Wafer Level Chip Scale Packaging (WLCSP) technology. WLCSP achieves the smallest PCB footprint and is the packaging technology of choice for high volume, small form factor devices such as mobile handsets.

This is another example of our Feb. theme as we trend towards nano-scale SoP technology and the industry drives down size and cost. This product supports Bluetooth low energy which seems to be opening up new applications such as embedding Bluetooth in shoes, watches, etc. What applications do you envision for this new version of Bluetooth?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Fifth Annual Device Packaging Conference

The Fifth Annual Device Packaging Conference (DPC2009) will be held in Scottsdale, Arizona, on March 9-12, 2009. It is an international event organized by the International Microelectronics And Packaging Society (IMAPS). The conference provides a focused forum on the latest technological developments in 6 topic areas related to microelectronic packaging: 3D Packaging; Flip Chip; Wafer Level Packaging; MEMS; BioMedical Devices; and Power LED Devices. While the majority of technical sessions seem to be focused on fabrication, reliability and thermal issues (i.e. Impact of Underfill Design on Package Reliability), advanced packaging technology certainly impacts multi-chip manufacturers. A couple of talks from the technical sessions caught my eye, including:

Tunable Millimeter-Wave Device Based on Waveguide-Packaged MEMS

Compact Square Patch Antenna for Mobile Application

In the poster sessions, look for:

RF and Thermal Analysis of Packaged TGA4046 Q Band Amplifier

Design of Tunable Filter Structures using Multilayer Low Temperature Cofired Ceramics (LTCC)

A Unique Process for Hermetic Wafer Level Packaging

The full conference and exhibition information is at:

RF SoP Co-design

This month's lead story in Microwave Journal looks at the state of System on Package technology as package device features move to the nano-scale. With such high density, the co-design of RF System on Package (SoP) is an evolving concern among multi-chip module manufacturers and the EDA companies that support this complex technology. Our editors posed a number of related questions to AWR, Agilent and Mentor Graphics on co-design, simulation and design flows for multi-chip modules and advanced packaging. The following MWJ exclusives take a look at this evolution.

Mentor Graphics:EDA/RF SoP Co-Design>

Agilent:EDA/RF SoP Co-Design>

AWR:EDA/RF SoP Co-Design>

Monday, March 2, 2009

RFMD, Skyworks and TriQuint Continue to Control GaAs Market

Growing up in the GaAs market in the 80's, I like to follow how the market is doing. In its latest GaAs report, Strategy Analytics states that RFMD, Skyworks and TriQuint lead the overall GaAs device market which grew 9% year-on-year in 2008, with early estimates showing that RFMD, Skyworks and TriQuint further consolidated their leadership of the GaAs device industry, accounting for up to 59% of total GaAs industry revenues. Merchant demand for GaAs devices continues to be centered upon MMIC-based products targeted at the wireless sector and this drove GaAs device industry revenues up to $3.9 billion in 2008.

Asif Anwar at Strategy Analytics noted that 2008 was a very good year, but growth in the GaAs industry hit a wall in the fourth quarter of 2008 and 2009 will see industry revenues decline by five to six percent. However, he believes 2009 also presents an opportunity for the market leaders to squeeze out their competition, provided they can successfully leverage existing relationships while continuing to tap into adjacent markets and emerging opportunities.

Other conclusions include:

While TriQuint and Skyworks closed the gap, RFMD maintained its standing as the world’s largest supplier of GaAs-based RF components

Collectively the top ten GaAs device manufacturers—including Avago Technologies, M/A-COM and Mitsubishi Electric—accounted for up to 82% of the overall market.