Analog Devices Files IP Lawsuit Against Xilinx

Photo above: Xilinx’s High End Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC chip

Analog Devices (ADI) announced that it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Xilinx, for unauthorized use by Xilinx of several ADI patents relating to converter technology in two of Xilinx’s High End Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC products. Filed in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware, the lawsuit seeks damages and an injunction that prevents Xilinx from selling any products that infringe ADI’s patents.

Zynq UltraScale+ Radio Frequency (RF) System-on-Chip (SoC) portfolio is a flagship product of Xilinx. It combines computing, field-programmable gate array (FPGA) and RF circuits in a single chip. It can cover the entire sub-6 gigahertz (GHz) spectrum needed for next-generation 5G deployment, supports direct RF sampling of up to 5 giga-samples per-second (GS/S) 14-bit analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and 10 GS/S 14-bit digital-to-analog converters (DACs), both up to 6 GHz of analog bandwidth.

“ADI is a market leader in analog, mixed-signal and power integrated circuit technologies,” said Larry Weiss, Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Analog Devices. “Our continued investment in research and development totaled over $1 billion in the last fiscal year. We are committed to defending and protecting our intellectual property.”

Xilinx: “Analog Devices has chosen to litigate rather than compete”

In response, Xilinx announced it intend to “vigorously defend against this lawsuit. We created what many thought could not be done with the introduction of the Zynq UltraScale+ RFSoC – the industry’s only single-chip adaptable radio platform.  Through its patent lawsuit, Analog Devices has chosen to litigate rather than compete in the market.”

ADI said the complaint is focused on eight important ADI patents relating to ADCs. Those patents covers issues such as circuit and technique for enhancing linearity in analog-to-digital converters by injecting dither to sampled signals, calibrating an offset mismatch in ADCs using chopping techniques, ADC pipelined architecture, and more.

ADI claims that it has worked closely with Xilinx for many years to develop solutions tailored to Xilinx’s FPGA products, including Xilinx’s Kintex 7 and Kintex UltraScale products, its Virtex 7 and UltraScale products, Zynq 7 and initial Zynq UltraScale products. “Over the course of the parties’ collaboration, ADI has shared with Xilinx, under a non-disclosure agreement, extensive and detailed technical information concerning its many innovations in ADC technology.

But, “At the same time that Xilinx purportedly was working with ADI as an alleged partner to combine ADI’s proprietary ADC technology with Xilinx’s programmable system-ona-chip (SoC), it was also separately working to incorporate ADI’s patented technology directly into its new Integrated Direct-RF Subsystem.”