CMOS technology scaling has fueled tremendous progress in electronics and has brought about system-on-chip (SoC) products with a very broad and transforming impact on our society and economy. Technology scaling has been very beneficial to increase the performance and density for digital signal processing, computation and memory. But, analog and radio-frequency (RF) circuits remain the critical interfaces to connect the digital cores of SoCs to the physical world which is fundamentally analog.
We will review the driving forces behind the research on the design of modern analog and RF circuits and the key challenges and research questions. We will illustrate them with examples from our past and recent research. We will discuss how designing analog and RF functions with scaled devices and reducing supply voltages is getting progressively harder. Meeting more stringent performance requirements with poorer analog devices makes the task of the analog designer very challenging and interesting. It is driving the emergence of new design paradigms such as mixed-domain analog techniques. The talk will further touch upon the novel massive application opportunities that scaled CMOS technologies enable for the Internet of Things.