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Axiom Microdevices Expands Family of GSM/GPRS Power Amplifiers

11/27/08 - Axiom Microdevices, Inc. announced the introduction of the AX508 power amplifier, as the company continues to expand its product offerings to bring the full benefit of CMOS to its customers.

The AX508 integrates full quad-band GSM/GPRS functionality on a single integrated circuit (IC) using mainstream Silicon CMOS process technology. Key benefits of the AX508 include improved performance, relative to its AX502 product, equating to a longer talk time. With the AX508, Axiom Microdevices also offers a smaller footprint by housing the PA in an ultra-low profile micro lead frame package measuring 5x3.5x0.9 millimeters (mm).

"AX508 demonstrates Axiom's commitment to continuous innovation and performance improvement. Axiom leads the field in CMOS PA technology and we continue to innovate and bring further improvements in performance for the benefit of our customers. All our work reaffirms to us that this is the optimum technology for the front end bringing the obvious advantages of mainstream CMOS and removing the need for specialty process technologies in the last 'non-CMOS' circuit block of the phone," said Brett Butler, Chief Executive Officer, Axiom Microdevices. "We are pleased to build upon the success of our AX502, and offer handset manufacturers the AX508 which increases handset talk-time in a much smaller package footprint."

Axiom Microdevices' CMOS power amplifiers were developed using the company's patented Distributed Active Transformer (DAT) technology, which has made it possible to use 0.13-micrometer silicon CMOS process technology to integrate all of the functions between transmitter output and transmit/receive switch. Leveraging DAT technology, Axiom Microdevices realizes power gain stages, small signal control circuitry and 50 ohm input and output matching circuitry on a single die, enables direct connection to the transceiver output and the transmit/receive switch input without the use of the external matching components, helping designers to achieve what was previously only viable with devices manufactured in proprietary gallium arsenide (GaAs) process technology and assembled in complex multi-chip module packaging.

The AX508 amplifies low-level radio frequency (RF) signals to the required high-power levels needed for transmission in GSM/GPRS mobile phone handsets or data modules. The device supports quad-band (GSM 850/900/1800/1900) operation. The power level is regulated via a fully integrated closed-loop power controller which ensures that the GSM power/time mask and switching spectrum may be met with adequate margin to allow robust mass production when subjected to a real world cell phone environment, such as highly elevated VSWR and low supply voltage.

Also included in the AX508 feature set:

  • GSM/GPRS Class 12 operation
  • Power supply range of 2.9-5.5V
  • RF input range: -2 to 8dBm
  • Fully integrated on chip 50 ohm matching circuits
  • Fully integrated closed-loop power control
  • Improved Power Added Efficiency
  • Extended Range for Low Power Mode Operation
  • Low Profile 5x3.5x0.9mm Micro Lead Frame package

Axiom Microdevices has proven the reliability of its quad-band GPRS PA through thousands of hours of life testing and high-volume shipments to top Asian handset manufacturers, including China's Ginwave Technologies, which have to date, reported zero field failures.

"We have chosen to operate in high volume, mature, cost sensitive applications where technical innovations can provide us with a unique advantage," continued Butler. "Because handset manufacturers, particularly those in China, must pay very close attention to the cost build-up when developing ultra low cost handsets, our AX502 and AX508 PAs are ideally suited for these applications."

Keywords: axiom microdevices inc, cmos power amplifiers, silicon cmos, cmos circuit, control circuitry, optimum technology, handset manufacturers, power amplifier, frame package, brett butler, continuous innovation, gain stages, lead frame, product offerings, GPRS

By Robert Hoskins

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