Skyworks Solutions has announced two small circulators for the 3.5 GHz 5G infrastructure band. The two are available in 7 and 10 mm surface-mount packages, respectively, supporting the size requirements of small cell and massive MIMO systems.

According to the company, the circulators use proprietary materials and processes to achieve designs occupying up to 50 percent less board space than competitive products — without compromising performance.

The SKYFR-001692 is a single-junction circulator covering 3.4 to 3.6 GHz, with 0.23 dB insertion loss, 21 dB isolation and −60 dBc intermodulation distortion (IMD). Power handling is 20 W average and 160 W peak. The case size is 10.2 mm.

The SKYFR-001657 is also a single-junction circulator covering 3.4 to 3.6 GHz, this one in a 7 mm package. Insertion loss is 0.32 dB, isolation 18 dB and IMD −50 dBc. Power handling is 15 W average and 30 W peak.

Circulators play a critical role protecting RF power amplifiers (PA) from excessive signal reflection from the antenna or from open and short circuits.

Skyworks’ mini circulator family is one of the company’s 5G infrastructure products, which include high efficiency drivers and small cell PAs, low noise amplifiers with integrated high-power switches and discrete RF devices.

“Our ultra-compact, high performance circulators demonstrate how we are leveraging our unique capabilities to enhance network efficiency and deliver higher capacity with greater coverage.” — David Stasey, vice president and general manager of diversified analog solutions for Skyworks

According to a March 2019 report from Allied Market Research, the global 5G infrastructure market is estimated to reach $58 billion by 2025, up from $371 million in 2017, representing a compound annual growth rate of 96 percent. Machine-to-machine/IoT connections and the surge in demand for mobile broadband services are significant drivers.