RF Micro Devices, a provider of proprietary radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) for wireless communications applications, today introduced the next generation of its industry-leading PowerStar power amplifier (PA) module portfolio. The two new PowerStar PA modules measure 6x6x1.4mm and represent greater than 30 percent reduction in size versus the previous generation of PowerStar PA modules. The PA modules reduce complexity and streamline the design process, enabling handset manufacturers to accelerate feature-rich handsets to market.
The newest generation of RFMD's PowerStar PA modules includes:
— the quad-band RF3158 (GSM/GPRS/EDGE), optimized for linear EDGE using either direct I&Q modulators or small signal polar modulation
— the quad-band RF3166 (GSM/GPRS), optimized for GSM/GPRS class 12.
The RF3158 and RF3166 also feature integrated battery voltage (VBATT) tracking circuitry, which is an industry first for standard PA module products. Battery voltage monitoring circuitry automatically measures battery voltage and adjusts ramp voltage, thereby preventing the power control loop from reaching saturation during low voltage battery conditions. VBATT tracking circuitry also significantly reduces transients, which occur at low battery voltage conditions and can reduce efficiency. Prior to RFMD's integrated VBATT tracking circuit technology, handset designers were required to manually adjust ramp voltage within the software. RFMD's VBATT tracking circuit reduces handset design time and ensures robust performance over broad operating conditions.
Konrad Alvarino, general manager of power amplifier products, RF Micro Devices, said, “RFMD is unique in its ability to supply Pas across all major air interface standards, enabling our customers broad flexibility across all cellular protocols, including GSM, GPRS, CDMA, WCDMA, polar EDGE and linear EDGE.
“By leveraging our expertise in process and packaging technologies, we've integrated battery voltage tracking circuitry into a 6x6mm form factor, thereby offering our design partners exceptional GPRS and EDGE performance in a simple and easy to use module. RFMD designers have included all the necessary matching components into the modules, so layout and assembly requirements are simplified to input and output traces only. With their reduced footprint, the highly integrated RF3158 and RF3166 also provide enhanced performance and ease of implementation, thereby enabling our customers to introduce high-quality, feature-rich next-generation handsets more quickly and cost-effectively.”
The RF3158 and RF3166 require no external components or critical routing.
Using RFMD's low-cost laminate module substrate technology, the RF3158 and RF3166 are quad-band 6x6x1.4mm GSM/GPRS/EDGE PA modules that incorporate all RF matching and bypassing circuitry, eliminating the need for external bypass components and critical routing.
The RF3158 and RF3166 feature power and current flatness over all four bands for easy optimization and tuning.
The integrated power control function eliminates the need for directional couplers, detector diodes, power control ASICs and other power control circuitry, which allows the module to be driven directly from the DAC output. Integrated power control allows single-point calibration in all four bands, enabling handset manufacturers to achieve simple and efficient phone calibration during production. In addition, integrated power control reduces cost and enhances performance.
The RF3158 and RF3166 are self-contained PA modules with 50-ohm input and over 50 dB of control range. The RF3158 is designed for use as the final RF amplifier in GSM/EDGE, GSM850, DCS and PCS handheld digital cellular equipment and other applications operating in the 824 MHz to 915 MHz and 1710 MHz to 1910 MHz bands. The RF3166 is designed for use as the final RF amplifier in GSM850, EGSM900, DCS and PCS handheld digital cellular equipment and other applications operating in the 824 MHz to 849 MHz, 880 MHz to 915 MHz, 1710 MHz to 1785 MHz, and 1850 MHz to 1910 MHz bands.
The RF3166 is in mass production now from RFMD and is priced at $1.95 in quantities of 10,000 units. The RF3158 is currently being sampled to customers and will ramp into mass production in the second quarter of calendar year 2005.
RFMD will showcase the RF3158 and RF3166 PowerStar PA modules at 3GSM World Congress in Cannes, France, February 14-17, Booth #E32.
For more information about RFMD or the RF3158 and RF3166, please visit www.rfmd.com.