- Buyers Guide
Mobile World Congress: Power Amplifiers and Platforms Coverage
Responding to rising market demand for femtocell and picocell technology, ANADIGICS Inc. introduced a new highly linear and efficient power amplifier. The AWB7227, designed to enable a new class of wireless infrastructure equipment, extends the company’s portfolio of PAs for use in small-cell base stations. The PA is claimed to have exceptional linear output power and high efficiency, and supports W-CDMA, HSDPA and LTE air interfaces operating in the 2.11 to 2.17 GHz band. The AWB7227 delivers +27 dBm of W-CDMA power with an ACPR better than -50 dBc and 14 percent power-added efficiency. Such performance enables femtocells and picocells with farther reach and smaller, more thermally-efficient designs.
The AWB7227, manufactured using an advanced InGaP HBT MMIC technology, provides typically 29 dB of RF gain, operates with 14 percent power-added efficiency at rated output power, is offered in a 7 by 7 by 1.3 mm surface-mount package incorporating RF matching networks optimized for output power, efficiency and linearity in a 50 Ω system and supports multi-carrier operation in E-UTRA downlink operating Band I.
The company also introduced the AWB7230 power amplifier module designed for use in WiMAX Customer Premises Equipments (CPE) and femtocells. It is a fully-matched, multi-chip-module (MCM) that enables network performance across all the 3.5 GHz WiMAX bands. The PA is manufactured using an advanced InGaP HBT MMIC technology, delivers up to +29 dBm of WiMAX power with exceptionally low EVM, provides more than 30 dB of RF gain, operates with 16 percent power added-efficiency at rated output power and incorporates RF matching networks optimized for output power, efficiency and linearity in a 50 Ω system.
The UT3 Platform is COMPRION’s conformance platform for testing according to the requirements of GCF/PTCRB (listed as test platform TP 118) and the NFC Forum. As a test system supporting all the contact-based and contactless smart card interfaces - be it ISO/IEC 7816, SWP/HCI, IC- USB or NFC - the UT3 Platform is claimed to be the right solution for testing mobile phones, contactless terminals, chipsets, NFC chips, NFC devices, M2M modules or laptops.
The platform offers both analogue and digital simulation of all interfaces. An integrated oscilloscope ensures that the analogue signal behavior is not influenced by additional parasitic effects caused by the connection of external measurement equipment. Another benefit of the UT3 Platform lies in the ability to test contact-based and NFC protocols synchronously. Thus, the UT3 Platform provides the entire picture of data exchanged between the UICC, the CLF and the contactless device.
Like all COMPRION tools, UT3 Platform stands for convenience and easy handling by the test operator. The UT3 Platform has a very high automation level, reducing the operator’s work to a minimum level. An integrated Test Plan Manager guides the test operator through the definition of the respective device under test (DUT) and uses the specified DUT features to guarantee a complete arrangement of all mandatory test cases in one test plan. Advanced administration of test execution logs and test reports enables customized result statistics and reporting on the test case and test plan level.
The RF components highlighted by RFMD spanned the company’s broad portfolio of power amplifier-based and switch-based products for GSM/GPRS/EDGE, WEDGE, WCDMA, LTE, WiFi, and WiMAX devices. The RF724x family of HSPA+ power amplifiers are ultra-high efficiency, single-mode 3G/4G components that are claimed to reset the bar for performance in smartphones, tablets, and other high-performance data-centric connected devices. The product family is comprised of five PAs covering WCDMA bands 1, 2, 4, 5 and 8, and they support ultra-high peak efficiency of 48 to 51 percent.When combined with one of RFMD’s companion DC-DC converters or with chipsets featuring on-chip DC-DC converter functionality, the RF724x PAs can deliver DG.09 performance as low as 13 mA.
There were four new additions to the company’s portfolio of front end modules – the RF8889A, the RF1291, the RF1194A, and the RF1196 are each optimized to solve the complex RF requirements of 3G/4G smartphones related to high band count and harmonics. The RF8889A and RF1291 single-pole 10 throw (SP10T) antenna switch modules (ASMs) deliver excellent linearity performance and insertion loss for high-throw count applications and are compatible with reference designs from Qualcomm, Intel and ST-Ericsson. The RF1194A switch filter module (SFM) delivers the linearity and insertion loss performance of the RF8889A and RF1291 ASMs and expands upon their functionality by adding GSM Rx SAW filters. The RF1196 switch duplexer module (SDM) delivers the switch and filter capabilities of the company’s ASMs and SFMs and expands upon their functionality by integrating a WCDMA band 1 duplexer.
The company’s 3G product portfolio has been expanded to include a complete power platform for entry-level 3G handsets. The RF323x power platform, comprised of the RF323x and RF72xx product families, provides handset manufacturers a complete reference design for the implementation of multi-region multimode 3G handset platforms. The RF323x power platform features the high-efficiency PowerStar® -based RF323x 2G transmit module with pin-compatible options supporting either one or two bands of WCDMA. The pin-compatible WCDMA PAs are available in two product family options – the RF724x family (described above) and the RF722x family of WCDMA power amplifiers, which addresses all major frequency bands and is optimized for chipsets using 3-mode control schemes.
RFMD also announced that smartphone and tablet manufacturers designing around the WiLink™ 6.0 and WiLink 7.0 platforms from Texas Instruments Incorporated can integrate its RF3482 high-performance, single-chip integrated front end module (FEM) for WiFi applications in the 2.4 to 2.5 GHz ISM band. The RF3482 is manufactured using the company’s E/D-mode pHEMT fabrication process and is available in a 3 by 3 by 0.45mm 16-pin QFN package. It is fully RF-tested, meeting or exceeding the stringent RF front end requirements of 802.11b/g/n systems.
On the Sweden Pavilion Sivers IMA showcased a new line of next-generation E-band and V-band front-ends for the telecom industry. These modular converter platforms can help manufacturers of point-to-point and multipoint radio systems running at transfer rates up to 10 Gb/s. They drastically reduce development costs through their construction and hassle free integration. The company can provide complete or partial assemblies, including various combinations of converter, diplexer and LO. This allows radio link suppliers to select custom solutions for their outdoor unit applications.
The availability of low cost licenses using 60 and 80 GHz technology will be vital to the development of future fixed and mobile communications networks, E-band and V-band technology will help meet the demand for higher speeds. It provides more available bandwidth to data-hungry users, especially in dense urban areas. Microwave radios provide a distinct and attractive alternative to fiber and copper systems in this environment, significantly reducing costs for rights-of-way and infrastructure. Sivers IMA expects radio link manufacturers that adopt its front-ends will be at a distinct advantage in this competitive market.
Skyworks Solutions introduced a new family of antenna switch modules (ASM) for dual-mode and triple-mode smart phones, tablets and datacards. These devices cover a wide range of applications from low-cost 3G handsets to HSPA+/LTE-enabled datacentric devices such as high-end smart phones, data dongles and tablets, all of which require design flexibility, high performance and cost-effective architectures. The company’s comprehensive RF switch products are based on both gallium arsenide (GaAs) and silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technologies and complement its front-end and power amplifier module portfolio.
The company also announced that its extensive LTE product portfolio continues to gain traction with leading handset OEMs and smart phone providers and is at the heart of several new, yet unreleased 4G devices slated for launch later this year. Skyworks enabled the world's first commercial LTE device, Samsung's high speed 4G USB modem, the world's first mobile LTE handset, and several platforms from ST-Ericsson. Since then, Skyworks has secured additional design wins with HTC, among others, to power various 4G smart phones.
TriQuint Semiconductor announced availability of its first multi-mode power amplifier (MMPA) module developed for Qualcomm's 3G/4G chipset solution. The TQM7M9023, a member of the TRIUMF Module™ family, combines with the company’s TRITIUM PA-Duplexer Module™ family to offer a complete RF system solution for smartphones and other mobile devices.
TriQuint MMPAs provide several key benefits to mobile device vendors, including decreased overall radio solution size to enable a greater feature set in a smaller form factor, simplified PCB routing for improved performance and design cycles and a reduction in BOM count that improves manufacturing efficiency. The combination of the MMPA and Band 2 and Band 5 TRITIUM modules offers a flexible and simplified RF solution that can reduce mobile device engineering and development time.
The company also announced that its two power amplifiers for WLAN connectivity lead the market, since ramping to production last year. Both the single and dual-band PAs are designed to augment the WiLink™ 6.0 solution and recently launched WiLink 7.0 solution from Texas Instruments Incorporated. The TQM679002A and TQP6M9002 offer fast data exchange rates, extended battery life and good amplification of weak signals. TriQuint’s integrated WLAN PAs are built with the company’s in-house E/D PHEMT and Copper Bump (CuFlip™) technologies and are found in leading smartphones.