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CEA-Leti, Nokia Research Center Develop UWB Radio Front-End

June 1, 2010

The Ultra-Wide-Band RF front-end circuit is intended to provide high-data-rate content exchange between a reader and a remotely powered memory tag.

GRENOBLE, France --(BUSINESS WIRE) -- CEA-Leti and Nokia Research Center (NRC) have developed an RF front-end circuit that allows very high data rate content exchange between a reader—typically a mobile phone—and a memory tag. This circuit is currently used in the Nokia Explore and Share research prototype.

The circuit exhibits 112 Mbps data-rate, a dramatic improvement over traditional Radio-frequency identification (RFID) systems.

The communication system merges two radio techniques: impulse Ultra-Wide Band (UWB), used for data transfer, and narrow-band Ultra high frequency (UHF) signal, used for synchronization and remote powering.

The same circuit is able to manage physical layer communication at both ends of the communication link, i.e. the same front-end can be used either in the memory tag or in the reader. Moreover, the circuit may power itself from the narrow-band signal and provide power for an external non-volatile memory device. The circuit also includes a battery-powered mode to increase the reading distance.

CEA-Leti and NRC will deliver a presentation on the circuit at the 2010 Symposium on Very-large-scale integration (VLSI) Technology and Circuits. The 2010 VLSI Symposium will be held on June 15–18, 2010 in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA.

About CEA-Leti
CEA is a French research and technology public organisation, with activities in four main areas: energy, information technologies, healthcare technologies and defence and security. Within CEA, the Laboratory for Electronics & Information Technology (CEA-Leti) works with companies in order to increase their competitiveness through technological innovation and transfers. CEA-Leti is focused on micro and nanotechnologies and their applications, from wireless devices and systems, to biology and healthcare or photonics. Nanoelectronics and microsystems (MEMS) are at the core of its activities. As a major player in MINATEC excellence centre, CEA-Leti operates 8,000-m2 state-of-the-art clean rooms, on 24/7 mode, on 200 mm and 300 mm wafer standards. With 1,200 employees, CEA-Leti trains more than 150 Ph.D. students and hosts 200 assignees from partner companies. Strongly committed to the creation of value for the industry, CEA-Leti puts a strong emphasis on intellectual property and owns more than 1,400 patent families. In 2008, contractual income covered more than 75% of its budget worth 205 M€.

About Nokia Research Center
Nokia Research Center (NRC) is chartered with exploring new frontiers for mobility, solving scientific challenges to transform the converging Internet and communications industries. Founded in 1986, NRC is Nokia's corporate research unit and as part of Corporate Development, drives Nokia's position as a technology thought leader.

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