case study # 07

5GS/s RF DAC for WiGig


In recent years, there has been considerable interest in the emerging applications for WiGig, which operates in the 60 GHz frequency range and promises data transmission rates of up to 7 Gbps. WiGig has been hotly anticipated for its potential to effectively transmit audio and video from a tablet or a game console to a television or from an audio system to speakers.

Kapik has already played a role in shaping WiGig’s emerging future by working with a client specializing in 60 GHz (WiGig) chip sets. Our client required a high-speed, low-power digital-to-analog converter (DAC) to support their integrated, low-power transceiver, which is intended for emerging mobile applications such as multi-gigabit wireless I/O and high definition wireless display.

Kapik was chosen to design this DAC based on its strong expertise in converter design and development. We needed to address the following considerations:

  • Packaging, speed and power constraints: Kapik needed to design a 3-4 GHz, 6 bit DAC in a 40 nm CMOS process. This meant addressing challenges associated with dynamic resolution at a 6-bit level while keeping power consumption low.
  • Design to meet future product requirements: The DAC would be comprised of a switching array, reference circuits, code converters and serial/parallel converters. These devices needed to be designed so they could be combined as components of higher speed systems, when higher speed packaging became available.
  • Decoder circuit speed: Kapik recognized that the speed requirement also needed to apply to the decoder circuits driving the core converter and had to find a means of digital testability, both to verify the design at prototype stage and in production for manufacturing errors.

To resolve these issues, we developed an architecture for the decoder that met the necessary speed requirements and iteratively identified and implemented power reductions in the system that met client specifications.

Kapik was able to deliver a design that met the disparate high speed, low power specifications of the project by finding creative means of reconciling and resolving them. We were able to deliver a reliable, robust product that met the client’s high expectations.

Interested in finding out more about our expertise in mixed signal and smart analog design can help you? Contact us today.

Tags: consumer, audio, networking, RF, DAC