Interview with Dr. Sanjay Moghe from RFIC Solutions

  • Dr. Sanjay Moghe - CEO

everything RF Interviewed Dr. Sanjay Moghe, CEO at RFIC Solutions. RFIC Solutions is a fabless semiconductor company that designs advanced RF transceiver SoCs for industries like Point to Multi-Point Backhaul, 5G, SATCOM, IOT, Wigig, Wireless Power Transfer, CATV, MIPI, etc. Prior to this, he was Co-founder, CTO of RF Solutions, a leader in WiFi RF chips (acquired by Anadigics). Dr. Sanjay has helped raise $17M funding in his last company, managed engineering organizations with 60+ engineers in large and small companies (Raytheon, Avantek, Northrop Grumman, ADC telecom, Micro Linear, etc.). In his career, he has developed 600+ RF IC Products using SiGe, GaAs (MESFET, PHEMT, HBT), BiCMOS technologies. He has been granted 6 patents, published 45 papers in international journals, chaired many conferences.

Q. Can you give us a brief history of RFIC Solutions?

We started RFIC Solutions in 2005 as an RF Design service company. We focus on MMIC chip design services and Module or Subsystem design services. We have offered design services to customers in the US, Europe, and Asia. Over the years we have developed a library of over 300 building blocks which include LNAs, PAs, Mixers, Oscillators, Phase shifters, etc which allow us to design IC’s with much quicker lead time than any other design service in the world.

Q. What services does RFIC Solutions offer?

We offer 4 flagship services:

  1. MMIC X - Custom MMIC Design Services
  2. SysPro  - Transceiver System Architecture and Specification Design Services
  3. IMAvue  - Integrated Microwave Assembly design Services
  4. BeAmiFy - Beamforming Antenna Design Services

Q. What differentiates you from other Fabless Semiconductor Companies?

We have a team of engineers from USA and India who have strong experience in RF and mmWave IC design. We have developed some of the most highly integrated IC’s in the world with GaAs and CMOS technologies. We can build highly integrated circuits quickly because we have an IP library of more than 300 building blocks from DC to 70 GHz. Another big advantage we have is our development and production costs are lower than other fabless semiconductor companies. We do intensive package modelling as well as engineer the best in class packaging solutions. We leverage the use of built-in tests and failure mitigation techniques to reduce cost and achieve first pass success. We are experts in reducing chip size to get low manufacturing costs.

Q. What Semiconductor Technologies/Processes do you work with? Are there any specific fabs that you work with?

We work with monolithic technologies like GaAs, SiGe BiCMOS, GaN, Silicon CMOS, InGaP HBT, AlGaAs, InP and other Hybrid technologies like IPD, LTCC, etc.

  • GaAs - 0.1u, 0.15u, 0.5u processes
  • SiGe BiCMOS -  0.18u 0.13u 0.25u
  • Silicon CMOS - 65nm 120nm and 180nm processes
  • GaN - 0.25u

We have foundry support from the following - Win Semiconductors, Global Foundries, Towerjazz, TSMC, GCS, UMS.
Q. What Industries/markets do you serve? Which is the largest market/industry for RFIC Solutions?

We serve wireless markets like 5G, SATCOM, Wireless Backhaul, Telecom, WiGig, CATV, and IOT. If it's anything related to wireless, we have a solution.

Q. Are you developing any products for 5G?

We have developed what we call the ARNA Front End Beam-Former ARNAFE01 (24 to 30 GHz). ARNAFE01 is a single channel front end transmit and receive IC  with beamforming can also support dual polarization. This IC can be used in 5G/VSAT/Backhaul systems and will help reduce the cost of deployment of such systems 10 fold. This MMIC will make Multi-Beam Dual Polarised Phased Array Beamforming for 5G (US/Europe) as well as SATCOM a success. Due to its extremely competitive cost, this IC will make 5G Small Cells/SATCOM terminals affordable when deployed on a large scale.

We have also developed what we call the ARNA Up Down Converter ARNAUD01 (24 to 30 GHz) which will have an Up Downconversion for transmit and receive and will also support frequency quadrupling to achieve high side LO for better suppression.

Q. RFIC Solutions has a number of IP Blocks on offer. Can you tell us more about these? What product lines do you support?

RFIC Solutions core Intellectual property leverages ideas, innovations, and creativity for deploying complex engineering solutions. Our IP includes mmWave frequency MMIC blocks like Power Amplifiers, Driver Amplifiers, Low Noise Amplifiers, Mixers, Multipliers, Variable Attenuators, Phase Shifters, Switches, VCO, PLL, Passives like Balun, Power Splitter, Filters, etc. We also have IP for highly integrated mmWave RF Transceivers, Front End Modules for phased array systems. These IP blocks can be used for point-to-point radio, SatCom/VSAT, WLAN, 5G and cellular systems as well as general microwave applications.

We have IP blocks based on advanced processes like GaAs 0.1 and 0.15 um for 5G, SATCOM and other applications in the 20-40 GHz bands. We also have complex IPs like PLL, transmit and receive ICs available on CMOS processes. We also have IP for high-performance LNAs power amplifiers, mixers and other blocks on SiGe and CMOS processes.

Q. Do you use these blocks internally or can they be used by customers? How can a customer use or get access to these IP Blocks?

We do use these blocks internally to develop complex systems and our customers also use them since it simplifies and reduces development time and cost of designing complex transceiver, PLL and other ICs. Our complete list of more than 300 RF and analog IP blocks covering 0-70 GHz is available to our customers. We can have different IP licensing options available which are flexible based on customer requirements.

Q. What products will you be showcasing at IMS 2019?

We are showcasing two advanced products, ARNA Front End Beam-Former ARNAFE01 (24 to 30 GHz) and ARNA Up Down Converter ARNAUD01 (24-30 GHz) for 5G applications. These ICs show high levels of integrations with more than ten blocks with complete transmit and receive chain integrated on a single chip. We also have more than 20 mmWave blocks that we will be showcasing at IMS 2019.

Q. What is the next 5-year plan for RFIC Solutions?

We plan to introduce more highly integrated ICs for mmWave / 5G applications and be a major supplier of mmWave ICs in the world. We will also be offering many passive components like power dividers, 90-degree hybrids, bias tees, baluns, etc on integrated passive device (IPD) process. We also plan to introduce advanced packages integrated with advanced ICs and offer a complete system in a package (SiP) as well as system on a chip (SoC).

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