The first CMOS power amplifier for a 3G handset has been anticipated for a long time, but hasn't quite made it yet. We've asked a few industry insiders to weigh in on whether CMOS is the right process technology for 3G handset power amplifiers.
The first CMOS power amplifier (PA) for a 3G handset has been anticipated for a long time. There have been almost a dozen starts and stops, and lots of "pre-announcements." Researchers have show how it can be done, but until now, no one has actual produced a real sample of CMOS 3G PA.
There are many reasons why it's taken so long, and just about every one of them is a technical reason. The marketing folks have been chomping at the bit for a product like this, at least in my humble opinion. There are a few reasons why it's such a desired part. For example, CMOS is so prevalent in existing fabs, the cost of producing the part should drop considerably once it gets into high-volume production.
The more intriguing reason has to do with the integration that's possible in a handset using a CMOS PA. That's because CMOS is used for just about every other key component in that handset. Hence, you can now envision levels of integration that were not available before.
However, the questions remains (and is hopefully answered below), is that a good thing?
|Mario Rivas |
|Jim Nohrden |