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RF LDMOS (RF Laterally Diffused MOS), hereafter referred to as LDMOS, is the dominant device technology used in high power wireless infrastructure power amplifier (PP applications for frequencies ranging from less than 900 MHz to 3.8 GHz.
LDMOS began to be widely deployed in high power cellular infrastructure PA applications in the early 1990s. This device technology offers significant advantages over the previous incumbent device technology, the silicon bipolar transistor, including superior linearity and efficiency, high gain, and compatibility with low cost packaging platforms. Within a few years of introduction to the cellular infrastructure market, LDMOS became the dominant technology and essentially completely displaced silicon bipolar transistors. LDMOS technology has continued to evolve to meet the ever more demanding requirements of the cellular infrastructure market, achieving higher levels of efficiency, gain, power, and frequency[1-8].
The LDMOS device structure is highly flexible. Although the traditional cellular infrastructure market has been focused on 28-332 Volts (VV), Freescale Semiconductor has been developing 50 V versions of 28 V platforms for many years. Several years ago Freescale focused its 50 V development on applications outside the cellular infrastructure market, including the Industrial, Scientific and Medical (IISM), Broadcast, and Radar markets (hhereafter referred to as the RF Power market), where higher power density and compatibility with commercial 48 V DC supplies are key competitive advantages. Many of the same attributes that led to the displacement of bipolar transistors from the cellular infrastructure market in the early 1990s are equally valued in the broad RF Power market — high power, gain, efficiency and linearity, low cost, and outstanding reliability. In addition, the RF Power market demands the very high RF ruggedness capability that LDMOS can deliver.
50 V RF LDMOS: An Ideal RF Power Technology for ISM, Broadcast, and Radar Applications
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