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Tunable capacitor to match any mobile band

Posted: 13 Nov 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:mobile device media? Bluetooth? Wi-Fi? RF?

Concealing narrow-bandwidth antennas inside a mobile device gets tricky when they need to be tuned for different services, from cell phone to Bluetooth to Wi-Fi to mobile TV.

Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. introduces what it claims is the first single-chip solution. CMOS DUNE (for digital tune), a digitally tunable capacitor chip aims to adjust a mobile antenna's RF response to all the different bands mobile media devices received today. Potentially, it can also dynamically tune even for environmental changes, countering effects like touching your finger to the antenna.

MEMS devices integrating RF are being developed by WiSpry Inc. and NXP, and ferroelectric devices are also being developed.

But Peregrine's CMOS Dune process is here and now. Leveraging its switching FET's already widely used to reconfigure radio circuitry for the different cell phone bands, Peregrine conceived Dune to enable what it claims is the first single-die tunable capacitor.

Monolithic integration of RF, analog and digital circuitry uses Peregrine's proprietary silicon-on-sapphire CMOS process to isolate linear, high-Q tunable capacitors capable of 32-levels of capacitance under the control of a five-bit register.

Typical capacitance values range from 0.5pF to 10pF, with tuning ratios ranging from 3:1 to 6:1, +38dBm of power handling at 50?, and switching speed of better than 5?s.

-R. Colin Johnson
EE Times

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