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'Highest performing' RF VGAs?

Posted: 30 Mar 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:maxim integrated products? max2056? max2057? rf variable gain amplifier? vga?

The MAX2056 and MAX2057 devices from Maxim Integrated Products are touted by the company to be the industry's highest performing RF variable gain amplifiers (VGAs) in monolithic form. Designed specifically for 2.5G/3G wireless-infrastructure applications, both products deliver over 40dB of linearly controlled dynamic range while maintaining up to 39dBm of OIP3 and 64dBm of OIP2 over all attenuation settings.

The MAX2056 and MAX2057 VGAs are suitable for 800MHz to 1,000MHz and 1,700MHz to 2,500MHz, respectively, W-CDMA, GSM/DCS/PCS/EDGE, cdma2000, iDEN and WiMAX(s) wireless infrastructure applications where high linearity and low noise figure are critical for maintaining high levels of ACLR and EVM transmitter performance. These capabilities also enhance receiver sensitivity and blocker immunity when the new products are used as IF VGAs within WiMAX and microwave terrestrial-link applications.

As complete SiGe VGAs, the MAX2056/ MAX2057 integrate two state-of-the-art, voltage-variable attenuators with a low-noise, high-linearity two-stage RF amplifier. The analog attenuators yield infinite control and high attenuation accuracy over selectable 22dB or 44dB control ranges. Cascading one attenuator of the MAX2056 low-band VGA with the on-chip amplifier yields 15.5dB of gain, a noise figure of 4.5dB, an OP1dB of 23.5dBm, and an OIP3 level of 39dBm. The MAX2057 high-band version similarly offers 15.5dB of gain, a noise figure of 6dB, an OP1dB of

23.8dBm, and an OIP3 level of 37dBm.

In the 900MHz cellular band, the MAX2056 yields an 8dB advantage in OIP3 linearity over the closest competing monolithic solution, and offers a 3.5dB advantage in noise figure performance, Maxim said. These noise and linearity advantages translate equally well to 1,900MHz PCS and

2,100MHz W-CDMA/UMTS applications, where the MAX2057 yields OIP3 margins of 13dB and 17dB for each band, respectively. Noise figure improvements are between 1dB and 2dB.

The two VGAs are housed in 6-by-6mm, 36-pin thin QFN packages, with Pb-free packaging also available. Prices start at $5.96 (1,000-up, FOB USA).

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