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Press Release

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2nd August 2000, Sunnyvale, Calif, USA

Philips Semiconductors Cuts Development Time of Advanced RF ICs Using Agilent Technologies' Ads Software

SUNNYVALE, Calif., Aug. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Philips Semiconductors, an affiliate of Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG - news), today announced a dramatic reduction in development time for RF ICs manufactured in its advanced QUBiC3 BiCMOS process, resulting from the use of Agilent's Advanced Design System (ADS) design automation software. Target applications for these RF ICs include GSM EDGE and W-CDMA, both of which pave the way for 3G mobile phones, as well as applications in the 2.4 GHz ISM band such as Bluetooth(TM). By increasing the speed of RF circuit simulation tenfold and improving the quality of simulation results, Agilent ADS will allow Philips Semiconductors to design these chips much more quickly, putting it in a leading position to respond to the needs of the fast moving mobile telecommunications market.

``Capable of integrating bipolar transistors with fT values of 30 GHz alongside high quality passive components and high-speed CMOS logic, QUBiC3 is ideal for integrating functions such as VCOs, mixers, LNAs, filters and RF power amplifiers into single-chip RF solutions,'' commented Jean-Pierre Manhout, senior RF designer, Philips Semiconductors. ``But simulating these circuits, particularly under the conditions in which RF transistors operate in power amplifiers, can take so much time using conventional simulation tools that it is difficult to iterate the design enough times to create right-first-time silicon. It is then the wait for new silicon spins that extends the design cycle.''

Philips Semiconductors has overcome this problem by taking advantage of the ADS software's ability to speed up simulation of both steady-state and transient conditions in RF circuits. This has allowed new designs to be fine-tuned and re-simulated to a much greater extent than was previously possible, particularly under the specific RF modulation and pulsed power conditions that are experienced in the end application. Use of the Philips invented MEXTRAM models for RF power transistors also means that power amplifier functions can be simulated with unprecedented accuracy.

``As a result of using Agilent ADS with the MEXTRAM models we have been able to refine the performance of an all-silicon 500 mW DECT power amplifier to the point where we are achieving typical power-added efficiencies of 50% under real DECT pulsed power conditions,'' said Manhout. ``That's comparable to GaAs performance but at a considerably lower system cost and complexity.''

In addition to simulating the performance of complete RF chips, Philips Semiconductors is also using Agilent ADS software to develop new IP blocks for RF ASIC design. Here, the increased level of simulation that has become possible is helping to ensure the very high level of circuit characterization required for effective IP re-use.

About Philips Semiconductors

Philips Semiconductors, which has annual revenues of approximately $5 billion, designs and manufactures semiconductors and silicon systems platforms. Philips Semiconductors is spearheading the emerging field of systems on silicon solutions with the innovative Nexperia(TM) platform and VLSI Velocity(TM) tool set. The company's Sea-of-IP(TM) design methodology allows plug and play intellectual property blocks for easily customizable products. The company is a leader in communications, consumer, PC peripherals and automotive semiconductors, which are key applications for convergence in end-user products. Philips Semiconductors is headquartered in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, and has operations throughout the world. For more information: www.philips.semiconductors.com.

NOTE: Bluetooth(TM) is a trademark owned by Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson, Sweden and licensed to Philips Semiconductors.

SOURCE: Philips Semiconductors


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