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13 August 2008


RFMD launches triple-path cellular front-end for 3G handset platform

RF Micro Devices Inc of Greensboro, NC, USA says it has captured a major design win on the upcoming 3G multimode platform of a leading handset original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

RFMD secured the win with what it claims is the industry’s highest performance and most highly integrated triple-path, broadband power amplifier (PA), delivering unmatched broadband performance and TRP compliance. Based on current customer forecasts and design activity, RFMD expects volume shipments to start in fourth-quarter 2008.

RFMD’s triple-path 3G PA combines three broadband (multi-band capable) power amplification paths in a single, size-reduced package. The highly integrated PA features two high-band broadband amplifiers and one low-band broadband amplifier, enabling 3G handset designers to simultaneously address any combination of the eight major WCDMA cellular frequency bands without the need for external tuning. Also, the broadband, triple-path capability enables handset designers to implement a single RF platform across all 3G band combinations - delivering maximum flexibility, reducing space requirements and accelerating time to market.

The triple-path, broadband 3G PA succeeds a dual-path, broadband 3G PA that is currently in high volume and also implements a balanced amplifier design. The balanced design improves total radiated power (TRP) and specific absorption rate (SAR) performance, eliminating the need for costly RF isolators and further simplifying multi-band platform implementation. TRP-compliant handsets improve network efficiency, enhance network coverage and increase data throughput.

“Handset designers using our broadband 3G PA can implement a single, scalable 3G platform that services multiple WCDMA bands through simple changes in filter components,” says Eric Creviston, president of RFMD’s Cellular Products Group. No change to the RF layout of the phone board is necessary.

“We plan to introduce additional 3G front ends with even greater functionality, higher dollar content and higher levels of integration, as future architectures incorporate duplexers, switches and other functions previously implemented on phone boards discretely,” Creviston adds.

RFMD’s multi-band, broadband 3G product offerings include the RF6280 3G transmit system, which supports all major WCDMA frequency bands and comprises a front-end power management IC optimized for use with either one or both of two available power amplifier (PA) options: the RF6281 and/or the RF6285. The RF6281 is a dedicated single-band power amplifier module (supporting Band I), and the RF6285 is a flexible multi-band, broadband power amplifier module (capable of supporting Bands I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VIII, IX).

RFMD says it is capturing additional RF content as the handset industry continues to migrate toward data-centric 3G handsets. 3G handsets covering multiple regions require multiple WCDMA frequency bands, and hence more PAs, duplexers, switches and supporting components. In 2009, RFMD expects about 50% of 3G handsets to support two or more WCDMA frequency bands.

See related item:

RFMD’s restructuring increases losses despite revenue growth

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