TriQuint Semiconductor, an RF semiconductor manufacturer and foundry services provider, announced the release of two new HV-HBT (high voltage-heterojunction bipolar transistor) devices created at TriQuint’s San Jose, CA design center, formerly WJ Communications. The highly efficient, highly linear devices expand TriQuint’s HV-HBT portfolio, and when paired with TriQuint’s high power HBT devices, provide a complete RF solution for 3G/4G high power amplifier (HPA) mobile infrastructure designs. Greater amplifier efficiency can enable lower initial base station costs, lower power consumption and lower operating costs.

“An important customer advantage of the recent WJ Communications acquisition is the ability of the companies’ portfolios to complement each other,” remarked TriQuint product marketing director, Dan Green. “WJ’s device line-up complements our base station portfolio very well. WJ’s expertise in InGaP HBT technology and the new devices’ excellent linearity, paired with TriQuint’s high power, highly efficient and highly linear HBT devices offer a complete RF transistor solution.”

The role of highly efficient, highly linear RF transistors in base station amplifier design is critical to enabling network operators’ plans for meeting 3G/4G service demands, Green noted.

“GSM system amplifiers (2G) don’t require linear operation, and their efficiencies were much higher because of this fact. But next-generation 3G/4G systems demand linearity and efficiency, so technology that was well-suited to older network systems suffered a setback when deployed in WCDMA or other next-generation platforms. Consequently, early 3G network operators saw dramatic increases in operational expenses (OpEx) due to the loss of efficiency, so they sought solutions. The more highly efficient and linear nature of HV-HBT products from TriQuint provide the right solution at the right time,” said Green.

A typical RF section in a base station radio is made up of three areas known as the pre-driver, driver and output stages. The relatively low power HBT devices released today by TriQuint are ideally suited as pre-drivers and drivers. TriQuint released its first generation of high power HV-HBT devices in October of 2007. These products serve the driver and output stages and provide exceptionally high efficiency and linearity. When paired with devices like TriQuint’s new AP631 and AP632 a complete RF solution is achieved.

The new HV-HBT devices released at the IEEE IMS MTT-S Convention and Exhibition in Atlanta, GA, integrate two stages into a single package. This allows designers to reduce the number of discrete amplifier components in a system. When used in a typical base station HPA design, a 25 percent cost reduction and a PCB area savings of 12 square centimeters can be achieved compared to designs using two separate discrete amplifier stages.

The new amplifiers’ high linearity minimizes additional signal distortion for repeater applications when used in final amplifier stages, and reduces backoff power requirements to minimize distortion from high PAR (peak to average ratio) signals in 3G/4G mobile base stations. This translates into reduced overall system costs and improved efficiency, which can lower HPA power consumption and improve OpEx (operational expenditures) for multi-carrier 3G mobile infrastructures.