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Wi-Fi RF front-end chip reduces size, cost

Posted: 20 Jul 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:SiGe Semiconductor? SE2559L? RF front-end module? SE2558L? RF semiconductor?

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Promising to cut system-level integration cost by about 15 percent, and slash board area requirements by about 60%, RF semiconductor maker SiGe Semiconductor Inc. unveiled its SE2559L RF front-end module.

Slated for Wi-Fi systems compliant with the IEEE-802.11b/g spec, the new module is based on an integrated architecture that's smaller than competitive products. The SE2559L also eliminates several external components, letting you reduce your design's BOM.

The SE2559L also eliminates external requirements for impedance matching and reference voltages, also helping to trim your BOM, as well as simplifying design, test, and manufacture. The SE2559L should find a home in circuits in access points, laptops, PC cards, and embedded Wi-Fi applications.

Leadless packaging
The SE2559L is the latest addition to the company's RangeCharger product line. The device features all the functions required between the output of a transceiver and its antenna, in a 4-by-5mm QFN package, which is about 85 percent smaller than discrete approaches.

The SE2559L front-end module integrates a power amplifier, negative-slope power detector, transmit/receive switch, diversity switch, and associated matching circuitry. All ports are matched to 50 ohms, simplifying board layout and interfacing to a transceiver IC.

SiGe is also offering its SE2558L, which is identical to the SE2559L, but with a positive slope power detector.

20dB dynamic range
An integrated power detector provides 20dB of dynamic range. A digital Enable control is included for transmitter power-ramp on/off. The SE2559L can deliver 18dBm (64mW) power output, with an error vector magnitude spec of 3-percent, operating in 802.11g mode. All adjacent channel power ratio requirements are met operating at 21dBm (125mW) output power in 802.11b mode.

In 802.11g mode, the SE2559L draws 142mA, operating from a single 3.3V supply, which is said to be about 25 percent less than competing products.

Already in production, the SE2559L is priced at about 90-cents each in quantities of 100,000.

- Alex Mendelsohn

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