At the 2019 European Microwave Week (EuMW), NXP Semiconductors announced a portfolio of LDMOS RF power amplifier (PA) multi-chip modules (MCM) for 5G massive MIMO (mMIMO) base stations. The MCMs are available from NXP distributors and online partners.

The family covers the mobile frequency bands from 2.3 to 3.7 GHz, with each two-stage Doherty PA matched to 50 Ω. Five PA MCMs cover the 2.3 to 3.7 GHz bands delivering average output power from 35 to 37 dBm. To streamline the design of mMIMO base stations for multiple bands, the PAs are pin compatible.

  • AFSC5G23D37: 2.2 to 2.4 GHz with 37 dBm average output power and 27 dB gain.
  • AFSC5G26D37: 2.496 to 2.690 GHz with 37 dBm average output power and 27 dB gain.
  • AFSC5G35D35: 3.4 to 3.6 GHz with 35 dBm average output power and 26 dB gain.
  • AFSC5G35D37: 3.4 to 3.6 GHz with 37 dBm average output power and 29 dB gain.
  • AFSC5G37D37: 3.6 to 3.8 GHz with 37 dBm average output power and 29 dB gain.

The MCMs enable designers to reduce the PCB area required for the PA by 5x compared to traditional RF designs, which reduces the weight as well as size — key to the viability of high order mMIMO systems such as 64T64R.

According to NXP, using MCMs reduces RF complexity, helping to improve design predictability and reduce prototype spins. Reducing component count avoids test redundancy, improves yields and decreases qualification time.

Pre-Drivers and Receivers

Complementing the PAs, NXP’s base station portfolio includes two GaAs/SiGe pre-driver modules and two receiver modules, which cover the cellular bands from 2.3 to 3.8 GHz and provide output power from 3 to 5 W.

Pre-Driver Modules

  • AFLP5G25641: 2.3 and 2.6 GHz bands with 29 dBm average output power.
  • AFLP5G35645: 3.5 and 3.7 GHz bands with 29 dBm average output power.

Receiver Modules

  • AFRX5G272: LNA+switch covering the 2.3 and 2.6 GHz bands.
  • AFRX5G372: LNA+switch covering 3.5 to 5 GHz.
"Our 5G massive MIMO solutions offer a common footprint across frequency and power, enabling a fast time to market for our customers and network mobile operators.” — Paul Hart, senior vice president and general manager of NXP’s Radio Power Solutions business