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11 November 2009


Avago claims first GPS front-end module integrating FBAR pre-filter with LNA

Avago Technologies of San Jose, CA, USA has launched what it claims is the industry’s first highly integrated miniature GPS front-end modules that combine a film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR) filter with a high-gain, low-noise amplifier (LNA).

The ALM-1912 integrates an LNA and a high-rejection pre-filter in a miniature compact package to provide a complete and compact GPS RF front-end module that can help to simplify the design of a wide range of GPS handset applications, Avago claims.

Housed in a miniature 2.9mm by 2mm by 1mm MCOB package (to minimize the printed circuit board space required) and suited to use in space-constrained applications, the ALM-1912 is designed for use in low-power mobile handsets, personal navigation devices (PND) and other GPS-enabled applications.

Simultaneous GPS (S-GPS) and other location-based GPS services require a high level of receiver sensitivity. Avago says that the ALM-1912’s low noise figure and high linearity help to improve the sensitivity of GPS handset applications. A CMOS-compatible shutdown pin is included for turning the LNA on/off or for current adjustment. The integrated pre-filter uses Avago’s proprietary FBAR filtering technologies to provide what is claimed to be exceptional rejection at cell/PCS-band, and WiFi/Bluetooth frequencies, enabling it to enhance the performance of GPS receivers for S-GPS operation in handsets and other mobile devices.

Also, the module uses Avago’s 0.25µm GaAs enhancement-mode pHEMT process to deliver a low 1.62dB noise figure, 19.3dB gain, and +1.5dBm input third-order intercept point (IIP3) and more than 50dBc of out-of-band rejection at typical operating conditions of 2.7V and 6mA.

Fully matched at the RF input and output, the ALM-1912 has a built-in shunt inductor at the RF input pin to enhance ESD production, allowing it to survive more than 3kV of human body model (HBM) ESD charge at the RF input pin.

By integrating a GPS LNA with pre- and post- high-rejection FBAR filters, the ALM-1912 simplifies and shortens the RF design process, reduces component count, and provides RF performance levels that are critical in GPS applications, claims Avago.

The ALM-1912 high-rejection GPS high-gain LNA is priced at $1.31 each in 10,000 piece quantities.

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