At IMS2017, Skyworks Solutions, Inc. expanded its small cell portfolio with the announcement of a high efficiency power amplifier (PA) supporting the unlicensed spectrum for license assisted access (LAA) and LTE unlicensed (LTE-U). LAA and LTE-U are capabilities enabled in LTE-Advanced that allow cellular systems to tap the 5 GHz Wi-Fi spectrum to increase data capacity.

The SKY66288-11 PA covers 5.15 to 5.925 GHz and is specified as providing 4 W output power, presumably saturated. At an operating power of 28 dBm, efficiency is 25 percent, which Skyworks says is 4x higher than competitive products and helps small cells meet the power over Ethernet (PoE) standards. With predistortion, ACPR at 28 dBm output is less than −50 dBc with a 2 x 20 MHz LTE signal. Gain at +28 dBm output is 34.5 dB.

The SKY66288-11 is matched to 50 Ω, operates from a 5 V supply and is supplied in a 16-pin 5 mm x 5 mm package. The PA is pin-to-pin compatible with the SKY6629x small cell product family, which offers PAs for all 3GPP bands.

According to an estimate from the Small Cell Forum, small cell shipments are expected to more than double from a base of 3.8 million units in 2016 to 7.8 million units by 2020 — a $6 billion market.

Analog Devices, Inc. is referencing Skyworks’ PA family for use with its AD9375 small cell radio transceiver with integrated digital predistortion (DPD).

John O'Neill, vice president of marketing for Skyworks, said “Skyworks is focused on developing the most advanced solutions for 5G base stations. As our highly innovative small cell amplifiers demonstrate, we are addressing challenging infrastructure performance requirements for next generation networks.”

The SKY66288-11 is in production and available through Skyworks by contacting