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11 January 2008


TriQuint ships new dual-band WiFi front-end modules

TriQuint Semiconductor of Hillsboro, OR, USA says it has been contracted by a major chip manufacturer to supply dual-band WiFi front-end modules (FEMs). TriQuint did not disclose the customer’s name.

According to TriQuint, the modules will be used to support the customer’s next-generation multiple-input, multiple-output (MIMO) 802.11n wireless connectivity.

“We feel TriQuint’s new modules deliver the best output power performance, the lowest current consumption for extending battery life and the best noise figure of any design being used by the customer,” said Brian P. Balut, TriQuint Networks VP.

Kevin Gallagher, TriQuint’s Wireless LAN Product marketing manager, said that the product’s design approach is significant because it has been entirely created using an E/D pHEMT GaAs process that previously required multiple semiconductor technologies. The technology allowed TriQuint to integrate the power amplifier (PA), the switch, the low noise amplifier (LNA) and the bias network/controller into a single die.

“Not only have we integrated multiple components, we have reduced the size of the overall module while achieving best-in-class performance and power dissipation. TriQuint’s advances have reduced the part count, simplified design, increased ruggedness and extended battery life — key considerations for laptop manufacturers,” Gallagher said.

Gallagher added that MIMO designs are crucial to achieving data rates significantly greater than today’s upper limit of 54 MB/S in WiFi systems (802.11a, b, g). In existing designs, a single dual-band Receive (Rx) and Transmit (Tx) path is used for moving data across a wireless interface. TriQuint’s new front-end module enables a size reduction and enhanced performance because all critical device functions are built into a single chip. By utilizing three modules in parallel within the RF front end, three receive and transmit ‘3x3’ signal paths are available instead of one, enabling higher data rates.

The new module covers the 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequency bands in the WiFi portion of RF solutions. Sample and pre-production levels of the devices (model SCM6M7010) have already been delivered, with full production shipments scheduled for Q1/2008.

See related items:

TriQuint launches BiHEMT GaAs process, integrating HBTs and pHEMTs for single-chip RF

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