3/10/2004 - Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) announced the industry's first combined CDMA duplexer/power amplifier front-end module (FEM) for use in dual-band and U.S. PCS (Personal Communications Service) mobile phones and wireless data cards.
This integration of two industry-best technologies enables manufacturers to produce smaller-size handsets with higher power-added efficiency, which means more functionality, extended battery life and longer phone talk-time. The FEM's miniature size also helps manufacturers trim costs via an up to 50 percent savings in board space, and an up to 65 percent reduction in parts count, including passive components.
"Our FBAR duplexers and filters offer the industry's smallest size and excellent performance with steep roll-off, low insertion loss and low temperature coefficient," said Bryan Ingram, vice president and general manager of Agilent's Wireless Semiconductor Division. "Our E-pHEMT power amps provide the industry's best power-added efficiency, enabling longer battery life and more talk time. The combination of these two innovative technologies in a compact 'by-band' RF front-end module gives our handset customers faster time to market, better performance through optimized impedance matching, and greater board-space savings to make room for additional handset features."
Strong demand from handset manufacturers continues to fuel combined shipments of Agilent's E-pHEMT power amplifiers and FBAR duplexers at a rate of more than four million units per month.
The Agilent AFEM-7731 announced is a fully matched CDMA-1900 MHz FEM, integrating Agilent's highly efficient ACPM-7833 E-pHEMT (enhancement-mode pseudomorphic high electron mobility transistor) power amplifier with its miniature ACMD-7401 FBAR (film bulk acoustic resonator) duplexer and all matching circuitry into a compact 5 x 8 x 1.3 mm chip-on-board module. Compared to designs using separate power amplifiers and duplexers, the AFEM-7731 features higher effective power-added efficiency (PAE) for longer talk time, and high isolation and low loss in the receive band for high sensitivity. The optimized matching between the power amplifier and duplexer eliminates the need for a bulky and costly isolator, which further reduces the cost and size of the handset.
Mobile phone frequency bands and air interface standards differ by geography, so multiband, multimode handsets need a certain combination of frequency bands and standards to meet local radio requirements. Handset radio front-end architectures need to be flexible to work with these various combinations. "By-band" front-end modules that are partitioned by frequency band (for example, 1900 MHz and 850 MHz) can be used in any phone with a CDMA-1900 MHz PCS band. For example, Agilent's AFEM-7731 can be used in single-band and dual-band CDMA handsets, and in multi-air interface phones such as those with CDMA, W-CDMA and GSM. Agilent is developing a variety of modules using this by-band approach.
In addition to its small footprint and ultra-thin size, the AFEM-7731 RF FEM offers these features for handset and data card design:
The AFEM-7731 is shipping in prototype quantities through Agilent's direct sales channel to select mobile phone manufacturers. Production volumes are expected by Q3 2004. Pricing at full product release is expected to be similar to the combination of separate Agilent ACPM-7833 (CDMA E-pHEMT power amplifier module) and ACMD-7401 (CDMA FBAR duplexer) devices.
Agilent is also developing a cell-band CDMA 850 MHz RF front-end module, which it expects to ship in volume by Q4 2004. Further information about Agilent's RF semiconductor products is available at www.agilent.com/view/rf.
Agilent's Mobile Appliance Solutions
Agilent is a leading supplier of semiconductor solutions for today's highly integrated, feature-rich mobile handsets. In addition to FBAR filters and E-pHEMT power amplifiers that help shrink handset size and save battery life, Agilent provides embedded camera modules that enable camera phones with exceptional image quality, infrared transceivers for transmitting data, surface mount LEDs that provide backlighting styling options, and ambient light photo sensors that save battery life by controlling backlighting. No other component vendor offers all of these solutions for mobile appliances.
About Agilent Technologies
Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A) is a global technology leader in communications, electronics, life sciences and chemical analysis. The company's 28,000 employees serve customers in more than 110 countries. Agilent had net revenue of $6.1 billion in fiscal year 2003. Information about Agilent is available on the Web at www.agilent.com.
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