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New 802.11a/b/g/n Broadband Wireless RF Front-End Modules Providing All the Functionality Required between the Transceiver and the Antenna in Dual-Band Wi-Fi systems

1/23/08 - SiGe Semiconductor, Inc. announced two radio frequency (RF) front- end modules featuring performance that will enable new wireless multimedia services in client access applications including game consoles, desktop and laptop computers, and home access points.

The SE2547A and SE2548A are complete 802.11a/b/g/n WLAN RF front-end modules providing all the functionality required between the transceiver and the antenna in dual-band Wi-Fi systems. The devices each include the necessary power amplifiers, filtering, power detector, diversity switch, diplexers and associated matching circuitry in a fully tested module that measures just 25 mm2 - about one-third of the size of previous front-end modules on the market.

The high integration makes the new RF front-end modules ideal for portable and consumer applications including mini-cards for personal computing. In fact, two devices can now be integrated into the footprint previously occupied by one. As a result, small consumer applications can now provide greater throughput and performance in support of emerging wireless multimedia applications such as media distribution throughout the home.

"With our new RF front-end modules, SiGe Semiconductor is delivering the industry's leading combination of integration, performance and flexibility," said Jose Harrison, director product marketing, computer and consumer at SiGe Semiconductor. "Customers have confirmed that the SE2547A and the SE2548A are the leading devices currently sampling with this level of integration. We are working with these customers on designs that will be on store shelves in Q3 2008."

RF front-end modules deliver flexibility and simplify design

The new front-end modules can be used alone, or in stacked configurations to support multiple stream applications. The SE2548A is equipped with a single antenna port allowing it to be used in 2 stream by 2 antenna configuration. The SE2547A provides two antenna ports, allowing two stream by 3 antenna or two stream by 4 antenna configurations.

Systems based on the SE2547A or SE2548A will achieve excellent linearity at industry leading transmit power levels, of +18dBm in 2.5 GHz and +17dBm at 5 GHz, with best-in-class ACPR performance. The front-end modules also include a transmitter power detector for each band and transmit chain with 20 dB of dynamic range for each transmit chain. Moreover, the high linearity optimizes transmission of greater data rates over longer distances, thereby allowing systems to support emerging 802.11n applications such as video distribution, video streaming and high-speed data.

All RF ports are matched to 50, which simplifies PCB layout and the interface to the transceiver RFIC. Each transmit chain has a separate digital enable control pin for transmitter power ramp on/off control to aid in power management. The RF front-end modules provide all matching and tuning and are fully tested, which simplifies design to speed time to market.

The SE2547A and SE2548A are in production now, priced at $2.15 and $2.05 in 10,000 unit volumes, respectively.

Keywords: radio frequency rf, wireless multimedia applications, wireless multimedia services, diversity switch, semiconductor customers, antenna configuration, semiconductor inc, game consoles, mini cards, power amplifiers, store shelves, fi systems, Amplifiers

By Robert Hoskins

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