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Linear Tech's new log detector promises superior sensitivity

Posted: 25 Aug 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:log detector? linear technology? lt5537?

The new log detector from Linear Technology Corp. promises superior sensitivity, allowing more accurate measurement of lower levels of RF and IF signals.

The LT5537 has a wide operating frequency range from near DC to 1GHz. It features a measurement dynamic range of 90dB, enabling wide operating range for receivers in such applications as automatic gain control (AGC) loops. Additionally, the device offers exceptional accuracy over temperature, making it suitable for wireless base stations, access points, subscriber radios and RF instrumentation subject to a wide range of environmental conditions, added Linear Tech.

The log detector incorporates a cascading chain of limiting amplifiers to provide a constant, linear 20mV/dB logarithmic detection function. In addition, the device incorporates on-chip compensation circuitry to yield an accurate and stable output under varying temperature environments. It can measure signals within an error of 1dB over the worst-case temperature extremes. Moreover, the device has superior sensitivity, capable of detecting RF signal levels as low as -82dBm, significantly better than comparably priced competitive parts. On the high side, the device can measure up to 12dBm input levels.

The LT5537 operates from a single supply voltage ranging from 2.7V to 5.25V. Typical operating current is 13.5mA. The device can be shut down by applying an external 0V into an ENBL pin. When disabled, the chip typically draws 500uA quiescent current to conserve power.

Priced at $2.95 each in 1,000-piece quantities, the log detector is offered in an 8-lead 3-by-2mm surface mount DFN package. The company added that its new product requires fewer external components than alternative solutions, providing a compact, cost-effective solution.

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