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Amplifier IC takes up antenna signal losses

Posted: 14 Jun 2007 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:antenna amplifiers? AM/FM transmission? reception loss?

Atmel Corp. has made available an antenna amplifier IC that enables AM/FM car-radio reception when used with designer antennas, including windshield, roof or bumper antennas.

The highly integrated ATR4251's impedance-matching amplifier helps compensate for signal losses resulting from the smaller dimensions of modern antennas and the longer cables to the car radio.

The chip enables crystal-clear reception without distortion, even under the difficult and rapidly fluctuating field-strength conditions typically found in moving antenna systems, due to its highly dynamic AM and FM range. This high-reception quality is due to the balance of an AM gain value of up to 35dB, a large-signal behavior both in AM and FM mode (IP3 148dB ?V in FM), and a good noise behavior in antenna applications.

A separate LNA for FM and a buffer amplifier for AM are used to address the different operating frequencies and requirements of both AM and FM. The AM amplifier covers the entire broadcasting-frequency range from 150kHz up to 30MHz, which includes modern digital rights management systems. The FM LNA handles the frequency range from 70-166MHz, including the weather band and HD radio in the U.S.

The AM and FM AGC enables independent adjustment to prevent overdriving of amplifiers under large-signal conditions. In addition, the use of two separate AGC circuits stops strong AM signals from blocking FM stations, and vice versa.

Pricing for the ATR4251 starts at $0.60 each in 100,000-piece quantities.

- Emily Gleason

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