Atmel Debuts 802.11b/g and 802.11a SiGe Power Amplifiers for Wi-Fi

1/27/2004 - Atmel® Corporation (Nasdaq: ATML) announced the availability of two new WLAN Power Amplifiers (PAs) for the high-volume WLAN/ Wi-Fi® market. The 2.4-GHz PA T7031 is designed for the IEEE® 802.11b and g standards, whereas the ATR3515, covering the entire 5-GHz range from 4.9 up to 5.9 GHz, complies with 802.11a. Both PAs are manufactured in Atmel's advanced Silicon Germanium (SiGe) technology. By using this standard silicon process instead of GaAs or InGaP technology, a cost advantage of 50% can be achieved, which offers chip set vendors the next level of cost/performance needed to meet continuing cost-reduction requirements for products in the WLAN market. The PAs are especially optimized for battery-powered portable applications like PDAs, smart phones and notebook computers. Further applications include WLAN client cards for PCs and access points.

Extended battery life, a key issue for portable devices, can be achieved through the biasing control function and the power-down mode, eliminating the need for an external supply switch. Both PAs integrate a power detector with a dynamic range of 20 dB, allowing the system to adjust the output power level exactly to the level needed at a specific moment for full performance at the lowest possible current consumption level.

The T7031 provides a linear power output of +21 dBm under 11 Mbit/s CCK conditions and 3.5% Error Vector Magnitude (EVM) at an output power of +15.5 dBm under 54 Mbit/s OFDM conditions. The T7031 has a typical current consumption of 82 mA in 802.11g and 130 mA in 802.11b mode.

The ATR3515 delivers a linear power output of +19 dBm while achieving an EVM of 3% operating in the 802.11a mode at 54 Mbit/s. The ATR3515 has a typical current consumption of 240 mA in 802.11a mode.

The PAs include a fully on-chip input and interstage matching. For output matching only few low cost external components are needed. Both devices operate over a 2.7 V to 3.6 V supply voltage range, which is ideally suited for battery-driven applications.

Samples of the WLAN PAs ATR3515 and T7031 in extra-small low-cost QFN16 packages (measuring only 4 mm x 4 mm) are available now. Atmel also provides fully assembled evaluation boards that help to reduce design-in time. Pricing starts at US$1.10 for the ATR3515 and at US$0.80 for T7031 (both at 100 k each).

802.11x = IEEE standard
CCK = Complementary Code Keying
EVM = Error Vector Magnitude
GaAs = Gallium Arsenide
IEEE = Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers
InGaP = Indium Gallium Phosphite
MAC = Media Access Controllers
OFDM = Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing
PA = Power Amplifier
PDA = Personal Digital Assistant
RSSI = Receiver Signal Strength Indicator
SiGe = Silicon Germanium
WLAN = Wireless Local Area Network

About Atmel
Founded in 1984, Atmel Corporation is headquartered in San Jose, California with manufacturing facilities in North America and Europe. Atmel designs, manufactures and markets worldwide, advanced logic, mixed-signal, nonvolatile memory and RF semiconductors. Atmel is also a leading provider of system-level integration semiconductor solutions using CMOS, BiCMOS, SiGe, and high-voltage BCDMOS process technologies. Web site:

Atmel® and combinations thereof are the registered trademarks of Atmel Corporation or its subsidiaries. Wi-Fi is a registered trademark of Wireless Ethernet Compatibility Alliance, Inc. IEEE is a registered trademark of The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. Corporation New York.

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