Semtech Provides Ultra-High Speed ADC and DAC for Advanced Digital Microwave Systems

Utilizing IBM’s advanced 32nm SOI technology; Semtech has developed 64GSPS ADC and DAC cores at 6.3 ENOB, optimized for integration in high performance System on Chip (SoC) solutions

CAMARILLO, Calif. — (BUSINESS WIRE) — September 15, 2014 — Semtech Corporation (Nasdaq: SMTC), a leading supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors, today announced that 64GSPS ADC and DAC cores are available utilizing IBM’s 32nm SOI technology for integration in high performance Digital Microwave System on Chip (SoC) solutions.

Microwave radio systems are currently being revolutionized by advanced data converters with sampling rates at millimeter-wave frequencies and analog bandwidths extending through Ku-band. These compact and highly-efficient analog-digital converters (ADCs) and digital-analog converters (DACs), integrated into versatile chipsets with digitally programmable poly-phase filtering and interpolation techniques, allow extremely wide bandwidths to be digitally processed. Specific spectral regions extending as high as 34GHz may be selectively processed, for dramatic increase in system SNR and SFDR performance. Digital tuning with fine frequency resolution and channelization may then be performed in an extremely efficient manner, thus fully leveraging the performance and integration advantages of deep-submicron CMOS SOI technologies.

Semtech’s high performance ADCs and DACs allow the analog/digital boundary in advanced microwave systems to be moved to the RF frequency, thereby enhancing flexibility, reducing analog distortion, and enabling more stable and higher-performance systems to be realized. This ‘Digital Microwave’ architecture revolution fully leverages commercially-available CMOS IC technology, disrupts more traditional analog-based microwave architectures, and is predicted to become the new implementation standard for most microwave radio applications over the coming years.

Semtech Corporation has been chosen by Northrop Grumman Corporation (NGC) as a subcontractor on its Arrays on Commercial Timescales program (ACT), which is intended to develop the key technologies for affordable, next-generation active electronically scanned arrays (AESAs) by designing a reusable digital common module that contains the critical integrated circuits required for next-generation AESAs. As part of the program, NGC was selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop and demonstrate advanced wideband digital antenna technology for the next generation RF sensors using active electronically scanned arrays. NGC will integrate Semtech’s ultra-high speed ADC and DAC technology into the project.

“Our wideband digital common module design is a breakthrough in AESA capability, enabled by the application of commercial system-on-chip technology with integrated high speed data converters that enable direct RF sampling,” said Dr. William Phillips, Director of Advanced Technology at Northrop Grumman’s Electronic Systems sector.

"Our disruptive ultrahigh speed analog-to-digital and digital-to-analog converter technology will help revolutionize phased array technology," said Craig Hornbuckle, Semtech's chief systems architect. "With an input bandwidth extending through K-band, these data converters enable increased flexibility and functionality, reduced power, and enhanced performance over traditional architectures, supporting next-generation radar, electronic warfare and satellite communications applications."

Semtech’s highly-efficient converters, developed in IBM’s 32nm silicon on insulator (SOI) process technology, will be available as cores in November 2014 and operate from 42GS/s to 68GS/s. Semtech is also designing significantly lower power and higher performance converters in 14nm FinFET technology, with availability of these cores expected in early 2016.

About Semtech

Semtech Corporation is a leading supplier of analog and mixed-signal semiconductors for high-end consumer, computing, communications and industrial equipment. Products are designed to benefit the engineering community as well as the global community. The company is dedicated to reducing the impact it, and its products, have on the environment. Internal green programs seek to reduce waste through material and manufacturing control, use of green technology and designing for resource reduction. Publicly traded since 1967, Semtech is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol SMTC. For more information, visit

About Northrop Grumman

Northrop Grumman is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in unmanned systems, cyber, C4ISR, and logistics and modernization to government and commercial customers worldwide. Please visit for more information.

Semtech and the Semtech logo are registered marks of Semtech Corporation. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.


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