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Maxim Integrated’s SC2200 dual-path RF power amplifier linearizer (RFPAL) significantly improves base station efficiency and reduces the size and cost of the RF transmitter. The fourth-generation linearizer enables power amplifiers to consume up to 70 percent less power compared to operation in back-off. The RFPAL consumes less than 1.5 W when both paths are operating. Packaged in an 11 mm × 11 mm QFN, the SC2200 solution occupies less than 1 sq. in. of board area, which is up to 8× smaller than other digital predistortion (DPD) solutions. Further, it reduces the bill of materials (BOM) cost by up to 50 percent.

With cellular data traffic increasing exponentially, the communications industry is migrating from macro networks to heterogeneous networks to improve coverage and capacity. The SC2200 is a superior alternative to the inefficient approach of operating power amplifiers in back-off, preferred over DPD since it requires no software or complex algorithm development. The device uses the PA output and input to adaptively generate an optimized correction signal to minimize the PA’s distortion. Using analog signal processing in the RF domain enables the RFPAL to operate over wide bandwidths and with very low power consumption.

The SC2200 works with a wide range of PA architectures, technologies and power levels. It is ideal for cellular applications including macro and small cells, distributed antenna systems (DAS), active antenna systems (AAS) and other multiple-input-multiple-output (MIMO) systems. The SC2200 operates in the cellular bands from 698 to 2700 MHz, with signal bandwidths from 1.2 to 60 MHz, and meets the stringent spectral emission and error vector magnitude (EVM) regulatory requirements for 2G, 3G and 4G, including both TD-LTE and FD-LTE.

Maxim Integrated
San Jose, Calif.