Last update: October 11, 1995

ADC's Kentrox
ADC's Wireless Systems Division provides innovative access and transport solutions for the wireless communications market.

Cellular operators and personal communications services carriers use ADC's wireless systems products to provide access to the network, as well as to transport communications signals.

ADC Corporate funded a Wireless Systems Group which is now a wireless division which designs, manufactures and markets a line of digital, fiber-fed microcells and reradiators, known to the industry as CityCell and CityRad, respectively. This portion of ADC is currently colocated with the Kentrox division in Portland, Oregon.

please call Diana Allen at 1-800-733-5511 ext. 6374,
email -

IMEC today is the largest independent microelectronics research and development center in Europe. Founded in 1984, IMEC is located in Leuven, Belgium. It employs over 550, mostly scientists and engineers, while collaborating with a large number of leading-edge companies and R & D organisations worldwide. In 1994, IMEC had an annual budget of US$ 57,8 million and achieved a revenue from contract research amounting to $US 26 million.

Here is an overview on the wireless telecom (spread spectrum technology) activities that have been carried out in IMEC for the last 2 years.

We focus on the development of specialised telecom ASICs, but also on the support of a modular, low-power telecom architecture, and on a design methodology that allows for fast optimisation and customisation.

The wireless team at IMEC is a tuned team of expert ASIC designers, with a background of designing prototypes of complete systems on silicon for the European Space Agency, Samsung, Motorola and SAIT Systems.All engineers have either a CAD or telecom expertise.

IMEC's spread spectrum technology has been developed in cooperation with SAIT Systems under ESA research contracts.

A line of direct sequence spread spectrum ASICs has been developed at the IMEC micro-electronics laboratory, Belgium, together with SAIT Systems and the European Space Agency. The chips are programmable to a large extent. The application domain includes both satellite communications and modems for terrestrial networks.

The PMCM (Programmable Mobile Communications Modem) is a digital transceiver chip integrating baseband and IF functionality with very low implementation loss. Fully programmable spreader and correlator functions, band-limiting oversampling filters and IF up- and downconverters are on-chip. The ASIC can process 10 Mchips/s and has an interface for an external processor for the application-dependent functionality. The PMCM encapsulates a complexity equal to 95,000 gates.

The PMCM provides a low cost and highly miniaturised solution for applications such as VSAT communication and terminals for Private Mobile Radio networks via satellite. Code lengths up till 1,024 are supported. The high processing gain makes the PMCM also a versatile key component for WLAN applications where robustness of the link is crucial, like in industrial environments with high and unpredictable interference levels.

The ASTRA (Advanced Spread spectrum TRansceiver ASIC) is a high speed, low power version of the PMCM, providing 15 Mchips/s, parallel demodulation of 4 channels and a 32-bit interface to a host processor.

The DIRAC (Direct sequence Integrated Receiver with ARM{TM} Core) chip combines a flexible and highly integrated IF receiver chain with an on-chip 32-bit ARM{TM}microprocessor core. Cost effective spread spectrum receivers, e.g., for satellite paging services, can be built using this device.

A spread spectrum development kit built around the PMCM allows for exploring the programmable parameter ranges and to determine the parameter set tuned towards a particular application.

A rapid design turn-around cycle, within the order of weeks, towards customised spread spectrum components is possible due to the modular architecture of the devices, and the advanced CAD environment Cathedral, developed at IMEC. Specification, synthesis and simulation at different abstraction levels are all provided in an integrated toolbox. The link with commercial design packages such as Synopsys{TM} guarantees compliance with industrial standards on ASIC design.

The design trajectory is open to any foundry. A current development is the integration of digital, RF and microwave modem components in an MCM (Multi-Chip Module) package, allowing again a reduction of size and cost with an order of magnitude.

Spread Spectrum Components:

Powerful digital implementations of direct sequence spread spectrum transceivers with long spreading codes can face the evolution in wireless communications towards higher throughputs and higher robustness, in spite of the implementation complexity. Digitalisation, a high level of integration,and extreme customisation of the modulation and demodulation schemes provide cost-effective, robust and future-proof solutions.

IMEC has developed a family of specialised, programmable telecom chips, called DSICs (Domain Specific Integrated Circuits). DSICs meet high throughput and high robustness requirements. We reach 15 Mchips per second, and we add a net processing gain of up to 30 dB. DSICs are typically used for rapid modem prototyping, because they are programmable and flexible. In addition we can easily adapt the devices to meet the specific requirements of other applications. Moreover, a cost-effective solution can ve offered very fast by simply leaving out unnecessary features and programmability.

For more information contact IMEC Kapeldreef 75 B-3001 Heverlee Belgium tel: +32 16 28 12 05 fax: +32 16 28 15 15

Radio Design Group

Radio Design Group offers a wide variety of specialized RF, Digital, and Analog design services for the communications industry. Unlike many consulting firms who specialize in general circuit or digital and microprocessor design, we work primarily with component and system design for communications devices.

Radio Design Group
3810 Almar Road
Grants Pass, OR 97527-4550
Voice: (800) 343-9600
Voice: (503) 471-1100
FAX: (503) 471-3489