Device technologies for RF front-end circuits in next-generation wireless communications

Milton Feng, Shyh Chiang Shen, David C. Caruth, Jian Jang Huang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Next-generation high data rate wireless communication systems offer completely new ways to access information and services. To provide higher data speed and data bandwidth, RF transceivers in next-generation communications are expected to offer higher RF performance in both transmitting and receiving circuitry to meet quality of service. Chosen semiconductor device technologies will depend greatly on the tradeoffs between manufacturing cost and circuit performance requirements as well as the variations in system architecture. Hardly did we find a single semiconductor device technology that offers a total solution to RF transceiver building blocks in terms of system-on-a-chip integration. The choices of device technologies for each constituent component are then important and complicated issues. In this paper, we will review the general performance requirement of key components for RF transceivers for next-generation wireless communications. The state-of-the-art high-speed transistor technologies will be presented to assess the capabilities and limitations of each technology in the arena of high data rate wireless communications. The pros and cons of each technology will be presented and the feasible semiconductor device technologies for next-generation RF transceivers can be chosen upon the discretion of system integrators.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)354-374
Number of pages21
JournalProceedings of the IEEE
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2004


  • Bipolar junction transistor (BJT)
  • Device technology
  • Field-effect transistor (FET)
  • Heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT)
  • Metal semiconductor field-effect transistor (MESFET)
  • Pseudomorphic high electron mobility transistor (p-HEMT)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering

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