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22 April 2008


SiGe PA boosts Wi-Fi systems; cuts external bill of materials by 20%

SiGe Semiconductor Inc of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada and Andover, MA, USA, which supplies RF front-end solutions enabling wireless multimedia for consumer electronics, has launched the SE2587L power amplifier, designed to optimize the performance of Wi-Fi systems, including access points, personal computers, and PC cards.

The SE2587L is based on the firm’s proven silicon germanium PA architecture, which is optimized for high linearity at transmit power levels of +19dBm in 802.11g mode and +24dBm in 802.11b mode. This optimizes transmission of greater data rates over longer distances, the firm claims, allowing systems to support emerging wireless multimedia applications such as video distribution, video streaming and high-speed data.

The PA is characterized for both 3.3V and 5V operation for nominal and high-power applications, respectively. SiGe integrates the reference voltage generator on-chip, allowing the PA to be enabled with a standard 1.8V CMOS digital signal, and eliminating large, current-hungry external reference voltage generators. The PA also integrates a power detector, which maintains accuracy, even under high antenna mismatch.

Packaged in a 3x3 QFN package, the SE2587L is the smallest of SiGe Semiconductor’s discrete PAs. The device pin-out sequence is compatible with the firm’s SE2527L, SE2528L and SE2581L, minimizing layout changes and allowing manufacturers to easily migrate to the new device for next-generation designs.

Also, to reduce system cost further, SiGe Semiconductor is offering application notes and support to replace discrete inductors used for output matching to patterned-on traces, taking advantage of the board space freed by the SE2587L’s smaller footprint. This could result in a saving of about 20% off the external bill of materials, the firm reckons.

“With the SE2587L, we have worked closely with our customers to deliver the high performance they expect from SiGe in a form factor that is ideal for optimization of board layout and system cost,” says Jose Harrison, director of product marketing, computing and consumer. “The combination of our power amplifier and applications support is unique in the industry,” he claims.

The SE2587L is priced at $0.40 in volumes of 100,000.

See related items:

SiGe launches RF front-end modules for wireless multimedia

SiGe expands Asian design & application capabilities in Hong Kong

Search: SiGe Semiconductor RF front-end Wi-Fi