Complementing several mobile phone announcements at Mobile World Congress, Qorvo announced two dual-channel switch-LNA modules for base stations. Designed for time division duplex (TDD), massive MIMO architectures, each channel integrates a T/R switch to connect the antenna to a two-stage LNA in receive mode or, in transmit, passes the signal from the power amplifier (PA) to the antenna.
The QPB9318 covers 2.3 to 2.7 GHz (TDD bands 38, 40 and 41) with 1.3 dB noise figure and 31 dB gain. Insertion loss in transmit mode is 0.6 dB, and the switch will handle 10 W maximum average input power with an 8 dB peak-to-average ratio (PAR) signal. The LNA is fabricated with an E-pHEMT process to achieve the minimum noise figure. The PIN diode switch requires +28 V bias, while the LNA is biased from a separate +5 V supply. The dual-channel multi-chip module is assembled in a leadless, 5 mm x 5 mm surface-mount package. The QPB9318 is shipping in production volumes to large base station manufacturers, according to Qorvo.
The second dual-channel switch-LNA module is completing development and will be sampling by June of this year. The QPB9319 is designed to cover all major TDD bands from 1.8 to 4.2 GHz. Also designed for massive MIMO base station architectures, the module uses an SOI switch rather than a PIN diode, eliminating the driver circuit and high voltage supply.
According to Qorvo, the dual channel switch-LNA modules pair with Qorvo’s GaN-based QPA2705 PA to provide a complete RF transmit and receive solution for a massive MIMO base station at 2.7 GHz. The QPA2705 provides 5 W of average output power at 35% power-added efficiency, 25 W saturated output power and 30 dB small-signal gain. The PA is assembled in a 6 mm x 10 mm package. Qorvo demonstrated the QPA2705 at the 2016 IMS in San Francisco.