RF Micro Devices Introduces Second-Generation, Quad-Band Power Amplifier Module with Integrated Power Control

11/13/2002 - RF Micro Devices, a leading provider of proprietary radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) for wireless communications applications, announced the availability of the RF3140, a high-efficiency quad-band power amplifier (PA) module with integrated power control circuitry.

The RF3140 represents the second generation of RFMD's PowerStarTM family of PA modules, all of which feature power control functionality based on collector control - the industry's leading integrated method of power control for GSM PAs. The first generation PowerStarTM PA module - the triple-band RF3110 - was introduced in September 2001 and has sold millions of units to date. The RF3140 improves upon the performance of the RF3110 and adds quad-band functionality in the same product footprint. Both the RF3110 and the RF3140 eliminate the need for directional couplers, detector diodes, power control ASICs and other power control circuitry while providing customers the benefits of reduced component count, improved production yield, simplified phone calibration and faster time-to-market.

"The RF3140 is the highest performance PowerStarTM PA module currently available," said Joe Grzyb, director of power amplifier products at RF Micro Devices. "Not only does it reduce cost, simplify phone design and manufacturing and enable the module to be driven directly from the digital to analog converter (DAC) output, it also reduces our customers' engineering time and resources in product test and, thereby, further accelerates time-to-market. For example, the PowerStarTM method of power control has enabled a top-tier handset customer to reduce end-of-line calibration time by greater than 50 percent and improve end-of-line yields, thereby improving equipment utilization and throughput all of which result in overall reduction in total production costs."

The collector control method of power control by design was developed to meet stringent European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) specifications for transient spectrum and burst timing. Unlike other methods of power control, such as current sensing and power detect, collector control requires no external components and demonstrates minimum variation across temperature, frequency and voltage. As a result, PowerStarTM PA modules provide handset customers the most robust and consistent burst timing and transient spectrum performance, which are the primary specifications required by ETSI for cell phone full type approval, or FTA.

The RF3140 is designed for use as the final RF amplifier in single- and multi-band GSM 850, EGSM, DCS and PCS handheld digital cellular equipment and other applications 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 RF3140 includes a fully integrated high voltage silicon CMOS power control loop that meets all spectrum and burst-timing requirements, with 50 ohm input and output terminals. To simplify engineering effort and shorten development cycle time, the RF3140 also includes software tools that allow the engineer to instantly calculate ramp profiles.

The RF3140 is manufactured using RF Micro Devices' advanced, next-generation GaAs HBT process technology. A silicon CMOS process technology is used to integrate the power control circuitry. The module is available in a small 10 x 10mm leadless chip carrier, minimizing the required board space. Samples and fully assembled evaluation boards are available now from RFMD.

RF Micro Devices, Inc., an ISO 9001-certified manufacturer, designs, develops, manufactures and markets proprietary radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) primarily for wireless communications products and applications such as cellular and PCS phones, base stations, wireless LANs, and cable television modems. The Company offers a broad array of products - including amplifiers, mixers, modulators/demodulators, and single-chip receivers, transmitters and transceivers - representing a substantial majority of the RFICs required in wireless subscriber equipment. The Company's strategy is to focus on wireless markets by offering a broad range of standard and custom-designed RFICs in order to position itself as a "one-stop" solution for its customers' RFIC needs. RF Micro Devices, Inc. is traded on the Nasdaq National Market under the symbol RFMD.

RF MICRO DEVICES®, RFMD® and PowerStarTM are trademarks of RFMD, LLC.

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