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CMOS-based RF transmit module touts longer talk time

Posted: 29 Aug 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:transmit modules? GSM? GPRS? CMOS-based?

Amalfi Semiconductor Inc. has launched a high-performance CMOS-based transmit modules for front-end GSM/GPRS cellular handsets. Leveraging the inherent scalability of bulk CMOS processes, the AdaptiveRF architecture can incorporate integrated derivative functions including switches and complex filters, allowing an ongoing reduction in front-end costs, size and power consumption.

The family of dual- and quad-band GSM/GPRS transmit modules uses a standard CMOS process and proprietary architecture that Amalfi claims to beat out competing technology in performance, integration and cost. The modules are targeted primarily at the high growth entry and ultra-low-cost (ULC) product segments in the emerging BRIC markets.

Mobile phone power amplifiers typically use between one-third and 3.5W of power during cellular transmission, which represents 30C70 percent of the electrical current used by the phone when the user is talking. The lower current consumption resulting from Amalfi's CMOS-based transmit module enables the cellphone to support longer talk time compared to existing solutions. Mobile phone manufacturers are then able to use smaller, less expensive batteries, reducing the overall size and bill-of-materials (BOM).

Amalfi's architecture integrates the power amplifier, controller, transmit and receive switch, filtering and all matching components into a 28mm2 package, promising manufacturers small, highly integrated transmit module in mass production. The small size reduces PCB space and cost and provides for more flexible design layout, enabling customers to build smaller phones or phones with additional features.

The AdaptiveRF architecture uses Amalfi's proprietary second-generation CMOS power amplifier design technology to achieve peak performance and better PAE in the typical operation ranges relative to leading GaAs power amplifiers. The architecture allows the transmit module to achieve high efficiency over a broad output power range. In operation, where output power is dynamic and subject to non-ideal loads, these improvements result in a talk time increase of up to 40 percent.

The modules are capable of withstanding a 2kV ESD on all pins, including RF pins, making the device less susceptible to ESD damage during manufacturing, which results in better yields and overall lower cost. The devices are also capable of withstanding 8kV ESD on the antenna port, further lowering BOM as no additional ESD protection is required on the phone to meet industry standards.

The entire family of transmit modules are fully qualified for mass production and are available with standard lead times.

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