GREENSBORO, N.C. --RF Micro Devices Inc. here today rolled out its first silicon-germanium (SiGe) device--a low-noise amplifier/mixer with 900-MHz downconverter. The RF2461 is aimed at CDMA/FM cellular applications and contains a complete receiver frontend for wireless phones, said the company.
The launch of the new SiGe heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) device brings the number of process technologies used by RF Micro Devices to six. The company is also serving the RF marketplace with two gallium-arsenide (GaAs) technologies--for HBT and MESFET components--as well as silicon-based processes for BiCMOS, CMOS and bipolar chips.
"The introduction of this new silicon germanium product represents a significant step in meeting our customers' demands for high performance at low cost," declared Alastair Upton, director of digital cellular products at RF Micro Devices. "Most CDMA frontends today use separate components for the LNA and mixer to realize the required performance. The RF2461 meets or exceeds the stringent frontend requirements, at lower cost, all in a compact 4-by-4-mm leadless package, that minimizes board area when compared with separate frontend components," he added.
RF Micro Devices is using IBM Corp.'s SiGe 5HP technology to produce the RF2461. The process results in reduced noise and increased linearity, especially at cellular and PCS transmission frequencies, according to the Greensboro company.
The RF2461 has a 30-dB stepped gain control range as it amplifies and downconverts RF signals, said RF Micro Devices. Along with digitally-controlled LNA gain, mixer gain and power-down mode, the component features adjustable IIP3 of the LNA and mixer bias current using an off-chip current-setting resistor.
The device is priced at $1.87 each in quantities over 10,000. It is housed in an LPCC-20 4-by-4-mm package. Other SiGe devices are also in development for dual-band, tri-mode LNA mixers for CDMA/TDMA, PCS and other wireless transmission formats, said the company.