STMicroelectronics has announced a highly integrated device enabling wireless infrastructure equipment makers to meet the demand for more flexible and compact next-generation mobile network base stations. The low cost STW82100B series will also be used in equipment such as RF instrumentation and general wireless-infrastructure applications.

Demand for broadband services is driving the fastest growth ever seen in the mobile communications industry. Mobile network operators are quickly rolling out faster (HSPA/HSPA+) services, offering data rates at 14.4 Mbit/s and above. Commitment to the higher-speed next-generation standard 3GPP-LTE is growing quicker still. Infonetics Research sees the market for LTE infrastructure, which requires several types of base stations, exceeding $11 billion by 2014.

ST’s new ICs meet the high-performance and low-cost demands of equipment suppliers by integrating important base station functions, such as the RF frequency synthesizer and downconverter in a single device. Its suitability is already proven for new standards, such as LTE. The company’s high-quality BiCMOS process has been used to achieve this advanced level of integration, while also meeting all key performance requirements. ST chips implemented in this advanced technology process are already being widely used by major base station manufacturers.

“This family of products shows the effectiveness of silicon-germanium (SiGe) integration in challenging RF applications and demonstrates, once more, the potential of ST’s proprietary BiCMOS technology,” said Flavio Benetti, marketing director of ST’s networking and storage division. “Today, ST is also successfully serving other markets such as optical communications applications with BiCMOS process options offering high-speed transistors operating at up to 230 GHz FT/280 GHz FMAX.”