Microwave Journal
www.microwavejournal.com/articles/26535-ampleon-unveils-pa-solutions-for-small-cells-and-massive-mimo

Ampleon unveils PA solutions for small cells and massive MIMO

May 20, 2016

Ampleon announced a wide portfolio of RF Power solutions for medium power and massive-MIMO applications. These applications include LTE picocells and microcells as well as multiple-antenna array (LTE-Advanced Pro and 5G) systems. Proposed for all cellular bands from 700 MHz to 3.8 GHz these solutions are available in a range of forms from dual-stage MMICs to fully integrated multi-stage Doherty PAs matched to 50 Ω.

For picocells and amplifiers covering a quarter of a watt to two watts, average at the antenna, a 12 V LDMOS MMIC process has been developed that offers the best compromise between performance and power density. A 12 V process provides wider band solutions, compared to a 5 V process, and allows an easier design of high-efficiency amplifiers such as Doherty. These MMICs are housed in the compact and cost-effective plastic DFN package.

The BLM9U2327-5B is an example device that is currently available as engineering samples.

For microcells, typically 4 to 10 W average power, there is a wide selection of solutions available or in development, enabling PA designers to find the perfect fit for each particular set of requirements. These include dual-path MMICs to provide the most flexibility in Doherty design and are available in both symmetric and asymmetric versions, for all cellular frequency bands. Ampleon MMICs are designed with bandwidth and Doherty requirements in mind, covering multiple bands and providing a typical isolation of more than 27 dB between the main and peak transistors.

Devices already in mass production include the BLM8G0710S-45AB, the BLM7G1822S-40AB and the BLM8D1822S-50PB, while the BLM8G2327S-40PB and BLM9G3438-25B are currently available as engineering samples.

For high-performance and ultra-wideband applications, single stage integrated Doherty’s are being sampled. Depending on the requirements, a single device can be offered covering, for instance 1.8 to 2.2 GHz in a single fixture, with an efficiency better than 45 per cent. In a single-band application the efficiency will exceed 50 %. The BLF8D1822LS-80, BLC8AD1822LS-80P and BLC8D1822LS-160P are currently available as engineering samples.

For massive antenna systems such as LTE-Advanced Pro and 5G antenna arrays where size is even more critical, the highest level of integration and ease-of-use is planned with high-performance multi-stage Doherty PAs matched to 50 Ω. These are housed in compact and cost-effective plastic PQFN packages. For the design of these modules, the latest LDMOS and GaN processes are used, depending on the frequency band. LDMOS is used up to 2.7 GHz while quarter-micron GaN is used for higher frequencies. These integrated PAs are currently being sampled and will be more widely available from the second half of 2016.