ANADIGICS Inc. recently launched a new high power, dual-band front end integrated circuit (FEIC) designed to address the growing demand for WiFi capability in size-constrained mobile electronics. The AWL9966 is a highly integrated device that provides in one small 4 x 4 x 0.6 mm package all the RF amplifiers and switches required for a compact, high-performance WiFi front end, complete with an integrated Bluetooth path. Leveraging ANADIGICS’ RF expertise, the AWL9966 delivers industry-leading noise figures, RF gain and linear output power to enable the WiFi solutions required for the rapidly growing WiFi-enabled wireless handset market.

“The groundbreaking performance of the AWL9966 will give the user an unprecedented WiFi experience, which in turn will reinforce the growing demand for WiFi in handsets,” reports Glenn Eswein, Director of Product Marketing for ANADIGICS.

According to a recent report from ABI Research, shipments of Wi-Fi-enabled cellular handsets will double in volume by the end of 2010, compared to January 2008, and this growth curve is expected to continue through 2013. In addition, In-Stat reports that cellular/Wi-Fi handsets will surpass mobile PCs as the largest category of WiFi-enabled devices by 2011.

Eswein adds, “With our technology and design capabilities, ANADIGICS is extremely well positioned to capitalize on this market growth and strengthen our status as an industry-leading provider of RF solutions for WiFi.”

“The AWL9966 was developed to give WiFi system designers a highly integrated, easy-to-use, high-performance front end for size-constrained mobile products,” said Dave Cresci, Sr. Director of ANADIGICS’ WiFi Product Line. “Low noise figures in the receive paths, together with high gain and high linear output power in the transmit paths, translate to greater WiFi range and higher data throughput. These enhancements enrich the user experience, particularly as video and other high-data-rate applications become more prevalent in handsets.”

Supporting the 802.11n (MIMO) WiFi standard, and optimized for transmit and receive applications in both the 2.4 GHz (802.11b/g) and 5 GHz (802.11a) bands, the AWL9966 uses ANADIGICS’ design expertise to incorporates dual-band power amplifiers, low-noise amplifiers, and RF switches into a single 4mm x 4mm x 0.6mm package. The LNAs include a bypass feature to support wide dynamic range operation in receive mode, and the device is fully matched at all RF input and outputs to 50 Ohms, eliminating the need for external matching components. The AWL9966 also integrates a Bluetooth RF switch path to enable both Bluetooth and WiFi operation from a shared antenna with no external switching devices. The high level of integration and small packaging of the AWL9966 greatly simplifies the design of size-constrained WiFi-enabled products.