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Single-chip WiMAX RF transceiver halves BOM

Posted: 18 Feb 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:single-chip? WiMAX RF transceivers? wireless-broadband systems?

Maxim Integrated Products Inc. has claimed the industry's first single-chip WiMAX RF transceivers, which are already in high-volume production. The MAX2838 device eliminates the costly SAW filter and extra voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) circuitry required by existing superheterodyne solutions, thus saving 50 percent on BOM as well as reducing component count and board space. It is targeted for low-cost, 802.16d/802.16e WiMAX consumer premises equipment products operating in the 3.3GHz to 3.9GHz band. The MAX2838 enables affordable wireless broadband services and sees a market in Brazil, Russia, India and China, as well as in Western Europe, Australia and Canada.

Becoming monolithic
Whereas superheterodyne solutions require an external SAW filter for channel filtering, the MAX2838 saves space and BOM cost by integrating monolithic baseband filters for both the receiver and transmitter. An SPI-compatible interface enables electronic programming of channel filtering to support multiple channel bandwidths from 1.5MHz to 28MHz. This wide range of bandwidth support allows one radio BOM to support virtually all geographic markets where channel bandwidths differ according to each country's spectrum regulations.

Designed using Maxim's in-house, high-performance SiGe BiCMOS process, the MAX2838 provides the industry's best receiver performance. It features a low 2.8dB receiver noise figure, -11dBm input IP3, and -39dBc integrated VCO phase noise, while consuming only 288mW of power. The receiver has a 94dB gain-control range, digitally controlled in 2dB steps. Receiver EVM is better than -35dB, and sideband suppression is > 45dB.

Transmitter advantages
The MAX2838's transmitter features a 60dB gain-control range, digitally controlled in 1dB steps. It delivers a 0dBm linear output with a 64-QAM signal, > 45dB sideband suppression, and better than -36dB EVM while meeting a -70dBr spectral mask. The high linearity of the transmitter output allows this transceiver to be used in WiMAX pico or femto base stations, subscriber CPE or PC cards, and USB dongle devices. Additionally, a unique master/slave mode allows two MAX2838 transceivers to operate in multiple-input-multiple-output or maximal-ratio-combining configurations for improved system range and data throughput performance.

The MAX2838 operates from a 2.7V to 3.6V supply. It is available in a 6mm x 6mm, Pb-free, 48-pin TQFN package. Pricing starts at $8.13 for 1000-up volumes. An evaluation kit is available.

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