2/25/2003 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) introduced a new series of power amplifier (PA) modules designed for next-generation CDMA and GSM mobile handsets. Agilent's new E-pHEMT (enhancement-mode pseudomorphic high-electron-mobility transistor) PA modules provide the industry's best power-added efficiency (PAE) for CDMA and GSM phones, and allow manufacturers to increase mobile phone battery life by as much as 15 percent, a critical feature in today's multi-function phones.
Agilent's E-pHEMT process provides the industry's best PAE, a measure of how much power it takes to amplify a signal for transmission to a base station. Higher PAE increases battery life, especially "talk time." Agilent estimates that the E-pHEMT PA modules can increase talk time by as much as 30 minutes on a single battery charge. Agilent also has engineered the new devices to deliver industry-leading reliability, using a new passivation technique in the manufacturing process. The process yields products that offer 100,000 years mean time to failure at +90 C of continuous use.
"The industry-best power added efficiency of our new E-pHEMT power modules allows our customers to offer additional features while maintaining battery life, or to offer phones with much longer battery life," said Bryan Ingram, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Wireless Semiconductor Division. "Along with our FBAR filters, embedded camera modules, infrared transceivers and blue LEDs for backlighting, the new PA modules position Agilent as a major player in future mobile handset designs. These E-pHEMT components are a product of our technical innovation at Agilent Labs."
Agilent announced three E-pHEMT PA modules, two for CDMA/AMPS handsets and one for GSM. Of the CDMA modules, the ACPM-7813 addresses the 800 MHz dual-mode band, while the ACPM-7833 operates in the 1900 MHz (PCS) range for handsets and wireless data terminal applications. The ACPM-7891 PA module is targeted at tri-band GSM/GPRS phones.
The CDMA modules offer an industry-best PAE rating of 40 percent, with E-pHEMT technology that requires only a single positive power supply. Higher efficiency also permits the use of smaller batteries to make room for additional features in handsets, data cards and PDAs, such as GPS emergency location, embedded camera modules and multi media services. In addition, the PA provides extremely high signal quality, which is a function of the amplifier's linearity. This is vital to CDMA because its complex signal transmission requires highly accurate signal reproduction. Further, E-pHEMT has excellent low voltage operation and is well positioned for next-generation 3G systems that may use lower battery voltages.
Agilent's GSM tri-band PA module also offers superior PAE of up to 60 percent in GSM band and 56 percent in both DCS and PCS bands. The module is also capable of Class 12 operation for 2.5G applications such as GPRS service. Agilent has already begun volume shipments of both CDMA and GSM modules to multiple customers.
To keep up with the demand for high-efficiency PA modules, FBAR filters and other E-pHEMT products, Agilent is quickly ramping its new state-of-the-art six-inch wafer fab in Ft. Collins, Colo. The fab offers high volume manufacturing capacity, and leverages state-of-the-art CMOS statistical process control techniques to optimize performance of advanced analog/mixed-signal devices.
The Agilent ACPM-7813 CDMA PA module (4 x 4 x 1.1mm SMT package) operates over the 824 MHz to 849 MHz frequency range, and features +28.5 dBm linear output power at 3.4V. Specification compliant linear operation can be realized from supply voltages between 3.2V and 4.2V, with minimum performance reduction at 3V. The Agilent ACPM-7833 CDMA PA module (4 x 4 x 1.1mm SMT package) operates over the 1850 to 1910 MHz PCS frequency range with + 28.5 dBm linear output power at 3.4V.
The Agilent ACPM-7891 GSM PA module (6 x 12 x 1.8mm SMT package) operates over the 900 MHz EGSM, 1800 MHz DCS, and 1900 MHz PCS frequency range. The module features +35 dBm linear output power at 2.2V in EGSM mode and +32.5 dBm linear output power at 2.2V in DCS/PCS mode. The PA operates from supply voltages between 3.0V and 5.3V, with minimum performance reduction at 2.7V.
U.S. Pricing and Availability
All of the new Agilent PA modules are available now for sampling and ordering. Pricing for the ACPM-7891 for GSM handsets is less than $2.00 each in high-volume quantities. Pricing for the ACPM 7813 and ACPM-7833 for CDMA handsets is less than $2.00 each in 100,000-unit lots.
Agilent also expects to begin sampling a high PAE W-CDMA (Wideband CDMA) PA module by mid-year 2003.
About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics and life sciences. The company's 35,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6 billion in fiscal year 2002. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at www.agilent.com.
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