RF power detection ICs raise performance bar for cell phones, wireless basestations

Norwood, Mass. — Analog Devices, Inc. (ADI) has unveiled two RF detector ICs — the ADL5502 and ADL5513 — for RF and analog engineers who need to improve power detection performance and simplify the design of cellular handsets, wireless infrastructure equipment and communications instrumentation.

Touted as the industry's first integrated crest-factor RF power detection IC, the ADL5502 combines a RMS (root mean square) RF detector and an envelope detector to enable cell phone designers to manage wireless handset power more efficiently. It is said to extend battery life by 20 percent in cell phone applications, and better process complex 3G and emerging 4G cell phone signals.

The RF detector features a ±0.1 dB accuracy with crest factors up to 11 dBm, which is five times more precise than competing devices, according to ADI. Cell phone manufacturers can also reduce cost and development efforts due to the elimination of look-up tables and correction factors that otherwise would be required to accurately control transmitted power levels. The ADL5502 provides ±0.2 dB temperature stability from -40°C to +85°C, further reducing calibration routines while allowing handsets to operate more reliably over temperature.

Designed for any Tx/Rx application requiring measurement or control of a RF/IF power level, the ADL5513 logarithmic amplifier (log amp) is said to provide the industry's widest dynamic range (80 dB with ±3 dB log conformance up to 4 GHz) that helps RF designers to more accurately detect and control output power up to WiMAX and LTE (Long-Term Evolution) frequency bands.

The ADL5513 device holds its dynamic range over its entire 4-GHz frequency range better than any competing log amp, ADI said. This allows designers of communication systems that operate across a broad frequency spectrum to measure and control a wider power level range with nearly no dynamic range degradation over frequency. Unlike other power detectors, which require extensive temperature calibration or look-up tables to compensate for a greater than 1-dB drift over temperature, the ADL5513 drifts less than ±0.5 dB over temperature, simplifying system calibration routines by enabling designers to use only a room-temperature calibration, said the company. The ADL5513 operates up to 125°C.

Pricing: The ADL5502 is priced at $5.90 and theADL5513 is priced at $5.49, both in quantities of 1,000.
Availability: The ADL5502, packaged in a 1.5 x 1.5-mm, 8-bump WLCSP, is available now in volume production. The ADL5513 log amp, packaged in a 3 x 3-mm, 16-lead LFCSP, is available now in sample quantities and will be available in volume production in September 2008.
Product information: ADL5502 or ADL5513

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