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LNAs deliver 0.8dB noise for GPS receivers

Posted: 18 Dec 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:LNA? GPS? receiver?

MAX2657/MAX2658 LNA

Maxim Integrated Products unveils the MAX2657 and MAX2658, two tiny, battery-sipping LNAs. Designed for GPS-enabled applications operating in the 1,575MHz band, the LNAs combine Maxim's SiGe BiCMOS process technology and WLP expertise. They improve GPS receiver sensitivity with an ultralow 0.8dB noise figure, an improvement over both discrete GaAs and Phempt LNAs or highly integrated RF CMOS solutions.

Both devices consume less power than competitive solutions, and the high-linearity MAX2658 offers better in-band and out-of-band rejection than competitive devices. Suitable applications for these devices are cellphones, smart phones, PNDs, GPS-enabled fitness equipment like bicycle computers and watches, and GPS receiver modules.

Signals for GPS systems originate from low earth-orbit satellites, and are often weak and hard to receive in urban environments or locations where other signals in nearby frequency bands interfere. Also, today's low-cost single-chip GPS receivers use CMOS technology, which does not always provide the best receive sensitivity for front-end LNAs.

These RF CMOS receivers require an external LNA to boost the GPS signals as much as possible (without adding noise) in order to get a fix on the satellite signals and determine a location. This extra LNA increases both cost and size. Meanwhile, device manufacturers must minimize cost and size without sacrificing performance. It is thus no surprise that manufacturers are demanding a small, low-cost, high-performance LNA that will make a significant difference between a marginally performing GPS path or a high-performance GPS path.

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