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RF synthesizer with embedded VCOs handles up to 5GHz

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

Keywords:RF synthesizer? voltage-controlled oscillators? embedded VCOs?


STMicroelectronics has unveiled its new RF synthesizer with integrated voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs) said to be the highest frequency coverage in the market. According to ST, the STW81103 is the first single-chip device that operates up to 5GHz, meeting the increasing demand of equipment manufacturers for space and cost-efficient solutions in radio applications with frequencies in the microwave range. Application include wireless network infrastructures, CATV systems, instrumentation and test equipment.

Frequency synthesizers form the basis of most radio designs and their performance largely affects the operation of the overall system. Requirements for signal-generating components in today's communications equipment include minimized phase noise and broadband frequency coverage.

To address these requirements, STW81103 exhibits the industry's best phase-noise performance for single-chip RF synthesizers, with measured values of 0.27 RMS (root mean square) at 1.16GHz, 0.6 RMS at 2.33GHz and 1.5 RMS at 4.67GHz with a frequency step of 200kHz. Outstanding suppression of random frequency fluctuations in a signal provides more design margin and the low phase noise also satisfies the stringent requirements of system manufacturers for minimized BER in voice and data transmission.

High frequency solution
STW81103's embedded VCOs with automatic center-frequency calibration also provide outstanding multiband functionality. A single device spans frequency bands from 625-762.5MHz, 1,087.5-1,525MHz, 2,175-3,050MHz and 4,350-5,000MHz, allowing wireless system suppliers to use the device in wideband and multi-band applications. Among competing solutions, ST's family of integrated RF synthesizers needs just three devices (STW81101, STW81102 and STW81103) to cover the largest frequency range, from 625MHz to 5GHz.

Whereas existing solutions for microwave frequencies require discrete PLL devices and VCOs, the single-chip approach reduces both the BOMs and footprint by up to 70 percent. Other benefits of the monolithic synthesizer include an increase in device reliability and simplified supply chain for equipment manufacturers.

"ST's unparalleled combination of RF technology, solid design skills and leading-edge components results in dramatic savings in material costs and board space, which are the key concerns of wireless equipment manufacturers today," said Guillaume Pertinant, RF technical marketing manager at ST's communication infrastructure division. "With the broadest band-coverage in the market, our single-chip synthesizers are set to spearhead the development of cost-efficient applications in the microwave range."

Pin-to-pin compatible with other members of ST's STW8110x family, the STW81103 is supplied in VFQFN-28 Pb-free packages. Samples are available now, with volume production slated for early Q1 2008 at a price of $5.39 in quantities of 1, 000 pieces.

Customers can now order evaluation kits that include the STWPLLSim software, which enables very fast and accurate PLL design and optimization of the use of the STW8110x devices.

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