Introduction to SOC: Analog Communication Circuit Design Perspective
Pp. 3-12 (10)
Steve Hung-Lung Tu
System-on-a-Chip (SOC) refers to integrating all components of a computer or other electronic systems
into a single integrated circuit. It may contain digital, analog, mixed-signal, and often radio-frequency functions for
communications – all on one chip. SOC is believed to be more cost effective since it increases the yield of
fabrication and reduces packaging efforts. Presently, the bottleneck of SOC developments is the interfaces among its
sub-functional blocks since an SOC system comprises a variety of different functional blocks such as DSP,
memories, microprocessors, wireless communication circuits, wired communication circuits, system timing
generators, data converters, voltage regulators. Because of the integration of different fabrication-technology circuits
for different functional blocks on the same chip, the circuit design of internal signal interfaces between analog and
digital circuits, low-frequency logic circuits and high-frequency communication circuits can be a tough challenge
especially its analog circuit design since the analog circuits for communication are more sensitive to noise
interference, temperature and process variations. The analog circuit design techniques for communication SOC,
which enable a larger design tolerance while maintaining the simplicity of the circuits are therefore highly desired.
Department of Electrical Engineering, Fu Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan.