Epic Communications Inc. (Epicom) announced that it has released the industrial smallest form factor and most complete flip-chip based RF Front-End Integrated Circuit (FEIC) with copper pillar solder bumps. FM2491_FC is Epicom’s first single chip FEIC product portfolio based on flip-chip configuration, designed for smart-phone and mobile internet device (MID) applications in which WLAN/Bluetooth connectivity is now becoming essential.

FM2491_FC is a flip chip based Front-End Integrated Circuit (FEIC) to form a complete stand alone Front-End Module (FEM), ready for both on-board SMT and SiP assembly processes with no wirebonds required, hence introducing no problematic parasitics to degrade its performance at the system application level. Flip-chip based single chip FEM has the advantages of improved performance (by high level integration and less parasitic), small size (by eliminating large wirebonding pads) and low cost (by eliminating die attach and wire bonding processes), which are critical for Today’s consumer electronic based mobile applications. Based on a commercially available and advanced BiFET wafer foundry process (i.e., integrating InGaP bipolar HBT and GaAs pHEMT processes into one wafer fabrication process), FM2491_FC provides un-matched high level of integration, small size, superior performance, and low cost advantages over similar function parts that are assembled or packaged based on discrete solutions such as Multi-Chip Module (MCM). Fundamentally nothing can achieve smaller form factor than the flip-chip IC as the final FEM product by itself.

Measuring 1.5 x 0.9 x 0.3mm, the FM2491_FC integrates a 2.4 GHz WLAN (11b/g/n) power amplifier (PA) with 19 dBm output power at 3% EVM, a low-loss highly linear SP3T switch, a high pass filter (HPF) to reject WCDMA signal at 2.17 GHz, on-board power detector, advanced temperature compensation circuit, on-board voltage regulator to accommodate battery voltage from 2.7 to 4.8 V range, CMOS (1.6 to 2.1 V) compatible logics for PAON and switch function controls, and all input/output matching circuitry and biasing components.

FM2491_FC is dedicatedly designed for battery powered mobile and handset devices with much stringent power consumption and performance requirements. These essential spec requirements include ultra low quiescent and operation currents (e.g., Icc of <120 mA at 3.3 V for 18 dBm linear output power), wide battery operation voltage range from 2.7 to 4.8V (>90% of full output power over the entire voltage range), CMOS compatible control logics, and excellent wide operation temperature range from -25° to +85°C. These power saving and handling features along with the smallest size and low cost are critical for handset and mobile internet device applications.

In addition to flip chip FEIC, Epicom also offers wire bond version of FM2491 as an option to potential SiP customers who prefer using wire bond assembly process instead of SMT compatible flip-chip one. Both flip chip and wire bond versions of FM2491 will be tested at the wafer level and shipped as Known Good Die (KGD) either on tape-and-reel or on metal frame.

FM2491_FC samples and performance evaluation board (EVB) are available, and it is priced at less than $0.50 at reasonable volume quantity.