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20 January 2009


RFMD launches first fully integrated 5.8GHz transmitter for China's electronic toll collection standard

RF Micro Devices Inc of Greensboro, NC, USA has launched what is claims is the industry’s first fully integrated 5.8GHz transmitter to comply with China's electronic toll collection (ETC) standard ‘GB/T 20851.1-2007: Electronic Toll Collection - Dedicated Short Range Communication (DSRC) Part 1: Physical Layer’.

Available in a 6mm x 6mm x 1mm, 40-pin QFN package at $5 each in sample and pre-production quantities of 10,000 units, the ML5830 is a low-power, amplitude shift key (ASK) and frequency shift key (FSK) transmitter operating in the 5.8GHz ISM (industrial, scientific and medical) band. It is designed for electronic toll collection applications, including on-board units (OBUs) and road-side units (RSUs).

With the implementation of RFMD’s proprietary FastWave microcontroller technology, the ML5830 eliminates the cumbersome mass-production tuning process necessary with competing solutions, it is claimed. FastWave enhances performance through self-alignment of the voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO), filtering and phase-locked loop (PLL) detection and control. It also enables user-specific application configurations through modifications via a three-wire serial interface to transmitter control, calibration and interface algorithms.

“As the industry's first fully integrated 5.8GHz transmitter to comply with China’s ETC standard, the ML5830 significantly accelerates time-to-market for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) while allowing RFMD to participate in a growing market segment for wireless data,” reckons Alastair Upton, general manager of RFMD’s Broadband and Consumer business unit. “Also, with the implementation of our proprietary FastWave microcontroller technology, the ML5830 delivers incremental benefits to designers and OEMs in time savings and simplified design,” he adds.

“After testing and evaluating the ML5830, we have concluded that its features and functions do comply to the DSRC products according to Chinese National Standard, and do meet China ETC National Standard requirements,” says Huang Wei-Ming of Guangzhou ITS Communications Equipment Co Ltd. “Our company is in the process of designing in the ML5830, and we target to commence mass production with our end product in May.”

The ML5830 integrates an upconversion mixer, a buffer/pre-driver amplifier and an ASK modulator capable of producing a typical output power of +4dBm while consuming less than 36mA of current. The ML5830’s unique design provides easy implementation and a minimal external bill-of-materials (BOM) count as well as improved time-to-market for OEMs, RFMD claims. The FSK mode provides digitally selectable data rates of 1 and 2Mb/s. Importantly, the transmitter also incorporates a fully integrated fractional-N synthesizer (with 30Hz resolution), a voltage-controlled oscillator and the necessary filtering to digitally switch to a higher-power, higher-data-rate FSK modulation mode, providing the flexibility to meet both current and future needs of the ETC market.

Technical features include:

  • a fully integrated digital FIR transmit data filter, which limits occupied bandwidth (OBW);
  • three-wire serial control interface; and
  • integrated power regulation, enabling 2.7-3.6V operation.

Volume production of the ML5830 is expected to start in the June quarter.

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