Irvine, Calif.After being mired in a patent infringement lawsuit with Silicon Labs for a number of years, Axiom Microdevices is now out from under and is finally able to purvey a CMOS PA (power amplifier) for cellphones.
Axiom says it's the first-to-market inventor of a patented quad-band (850-MHz, 900-MHz, 1.8-GHz, and 1.9-GHz) CMOS-based PA that will give you access to the advantages of mainstream CMOS, especially in terms of cost, integration, and supply continuity. This development stems from the company's breakthrough technology developed at the California Institute of Technology.
Out Of GaAs
With the introduction of Axiom's AX502 device you get a full quad-band GSM/GPRS Class 12 operation in one IC. What was previously achieved with chips made with GaAs (gallium-arsenide), and assembled as multi-chip module packages, is now available in a single CMOS die. This should hasten the advent of new levels of highly integrated cellphone circuitry.
Axiom Microdevices's patented scheme as deployed in the AX502 uses 0.13-µm silicon CMOS and integrates all of the functions between transmitter output and a T/R (transmit/receive) switch. That includes all power-gain stages, small-signal control circuitry, and 50-ohm matching. The AX502 also accepts an RF input in the range of -2-dBm to +8-dBm. The IC can also work over a supply range extending from 2.9-V to 5.5-V.
Integrated 50-ohm input matching and output matching circuitry also lets you make direct connection to transceiver output and T/R switch inputwithout the use of the external matching components.
Power level is regulated via an on-chip closed-loop power controller. It ensures that GSM power/time mask and switching spectrum specs are met with adequate margin to allow robust mass production. The device ensures operability in a real-world cellphone environment, where elevated VSWR (voltage standing wave ratio) and low supply voltages are common.
Axiom says the reliability of its AX502 has been proven through thousands of hours of life testing, at accelerated operating conditions, including greater-than-recommended operating temperature, extended duty cycle, VSWR mismatches of greater than 10:1 at all phase angles, and elevated supply voltages.
The AX502 comes in a MSL JEDEC Level 3 lead-free RoHS-compliant (Restriction of Hazardous Substances in Electrical and Electronic Equipment) package. It's a low-profile 5 x 5 x 0.9-mm so-called Micro Lead Frame package.
The NDA Wall
Axiom Microdevices says samples of the AX502 are available now. However, the company is tight-lipped about pricing, so if you're interested in this device you'll have to take that up with Axiom.
Also, the data sheet isn't posted on its Web site; company spokesmen say it's limited by a non-disclosure agreement. As a point of reference, back in 2004 the company's pre-lawsuit predecessor AX501 CMOS PA was priced at about $1.50 a pop in quantities of 10,000 units.
Contact Axiom Microdevices Inc., 21 Technology Drive, #102, Irvine, Calif. 92618. Phone: 949-727-9277. Fax: 949-727-9477. E-mail: email@example.com
Axiom Microdevices,949-727-9277, www.axiom-micro.com