Socionext introduces new 7nm ADC and DAC for 5G direct RF transmitters and receivers

14th March 2023
Harry Fowle

Socionext has launched a new high-speed Direct RF data converter PHY solution. This is the latest in a series of IP offerings driving advanced transceiver systems for 3GPP 5GNR/LTE and Wi-Fi network infrastructure in the FR1 and FR2 (mmWave with external mixers) bands.

The IPs were developed in TSMC 7nm FinFET (N7) process technology to allow straightforward integration for 32TRX and 64TRX single-die solutions and lower power consumption compared to discrete solutions currently available in the market.

Both ADC and DAC have 12-bit resolution and analogue bandwidth up to 7.2GHz. The ADC sampling rate is 24GS/s and 32GS/s for the DAC, enabling 5GNR FR1 frequency in the first Nyquist data converter frequency range.

This Direct RF IP product family delivers the full sub-6GHz instantaneous band with an internal capability to allocate up to 1.6GHz of channel bandwidth featuring carrier aggregation. Maximum is 16 channels of 100MHz (FR1) each or 4 channels of 400MHz (FR2). Furthermore, by using the multiple DDC/DUC available in the macros, it is possible to target low-, mid-, and high-range bands (e.g., n28, n40 and n78) simultaneously, without dedicated external filtering components. The result is a significantly reduced BOM.

Yutaka Hayashi, Corporate Senior Vice President and Head of BU (Data Centre & Networking Business Unit) said: “Socionext’s new 7nm Direct RF silicon IPs are available for new product designs and mass production with a guaranteed short time-to-market made possible by Socionext’s global solid post-silicon supply chain. The Direct RF test chip and evaluation board are now sampling to select customers. A dedicated application board with full ADC/DAC and real-time streaming will be available in Q3, 2023”.

SoC integration

The complete Socionext SoC solution includes a foundation of IP building blocks such as short, medium and long reach SerDes up to 112/224Gbps, PCIe Gen4/5/6 PHY, eFPGA, DDR, and several standards-based, die-to-die interconnect technologies for managing data flow across the data infrastructure and chiplets on MCM.

This 7nm data-converter development follows numerous successful 16nm and 28nm designs using Socionext’s high-performance ADC and DAC design expertise for networking applications.

Socionext integrates these IPs into other solutions such as 5G CPE, satellite communications, software-defined radio, microwave radio, test & measurement equipment, and early 6G research. In a market that requires high levels of system integration, small package size and low power design, Socionext’s Solutions are key differentiators for telecommunication, connectivity customers, and for the most demanding environments utilising expertise in silicon technology and design methodology.

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