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RF Circuit Design, 2nd Edition by Richard Chi-Hsi Li

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Chapter 16

SOC (System-on-a-Chip) and Next

16.1 SOC

16.1.1 Basic Concept

The development of the RFIC was a milestone in the history of the electronic enterprise. The next milestone will be the SOC (system-on-a-chip). On an SOC, not only are all RF circuit blocks integrated on the same chip substrate, but also are all the digital and analog circuit blocks. In short, an SOC chip contains all

1. RFICs,
2. Digital ICs, and
3. Analog ICs.

As an alternative to the SOC solution, the SIP (system-in-a-package) solution has been suggested and fabricated for some electronic products or communication systems. Instead of one IC chip substrate containing all ICs, there are three individual IC chip substrates containing RFICs, digital ICs, and analog ICs, respectively. They are packaged by means of stacking these three IC chips together. Obviously, SIP is different from SOC.

SOC is the highest goal in circuit design. We face quite a lot of challenges today in order to reach the SOC design goal, though many achievements have been made.

16.1.2 Remove Bottlenecks in Approach to RFIC

In order to reach the SOC goal, the first task is to remove the main bottlenecks in RFIC design, which are as follows:

  • Enhancing the low Q value of the spiral inductor,
  • Developing a “zero” capacitor directly inside the RFIC chip,
  • Researching the conductive via, and
  • Modeling the bonding wire with higher accuracy.

16.1.3 Study Isolation between RFIC, Digital IC, and Analog IC

  • Studying the Isolation between RF Blocks ...

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