Thalia Design Automation
Thalia Design Automation

Analog and RF design for WiFi

Analog and RF design for WiFi presents unique challenges to the desiger. Thalia’s analog / RF / mixed signal tools and methodology can help

Accelerating WiFi design

WiFi is one of the most widely implemented and deployed technologies ever invented. But despite its ubiquity, designing RF, analog and mixed signal blocks for WiFi remains a challenge for the engineer. Thalia’s unique combination of targeted design automation and experienced design resources can help.

Block diagram of a typical WiFi systemWiFi IP providers need to offer their customers a complete range of feature configurations in their RF and analog products: and absolute flexibility in choosing a foundry partner and process technology. They frequently need to generate design variants and to re-target and performance-tune existing IPs – with efficiency of effort and quality of results. Thalia helps to reduce the burden of such design projects, shortening project timescales and costs by up to 50%.

A more agile approach to IP creation and reuse allows analog IP providers to deploy an ‘IP on demand’ strategy that delivers products tailored exactly to customer requirements. The ability to performance-optimize, create product variants and target any process technology opens up new market opportunities while requiring a fraction of the time, cost and resources that would be required using conventional design approaches.

For applications such as WiFi, this requires a “top-to-bottom” approach that encompasses not only individual IP blocks, but also the entire system. At the block level, Thalia has successfully completed customer projects involving complex analog and RF blocks, including:

  • Integer and fractional phase-locked loops (PLLs)
  • Analog-to-digital converters (ADCs)
  • Low noise Amplifiers
  • Power amplifiers
  • Mixers
  • Bandgaps & low drop-out regulators (LDOs)
  • Local Oscillators, XOs
  • DACs
  • Temperature sensing blocks

The figure above details one of the WiFi IPs Thalia migrated from TSMC to Global Foundries’ 28nm technology.

Each IP was verified and optimized for specification performance in the target process: and Thalia was also able to fine-tune the performance and power requirements of the entire WiFi receiver/transmitter chain, against schedules measured in weeks.

You can find out more about some of the projects we have completed by downloading the case studies below.

Migration of a PLL to a 28nm process

As part of a wider process migration of a WiFi system, Thalia used a combination of design expertise and AMALIA design automation to retarget a PLL design to a 28nm process

Design centering of an LNA

Thalia achieved design centering for intermodulation and power reduction of a low-noise amplifier solution with savings in project cycle time of more than 50%

Rapid generation of a family of LDOs

Thalia saved one of its customers 60% in design time and substantial costs, by generating a complete family of LDO variants from a single 20mA design.