10 August 2010


RFMD starts volume shipments of next-gen WCDMA/HSPA+ PAs for smart phones and 3G devices

RF Micro Devices Inc of Greensboro, NC, USA has started high-volume production shipments of its RF720x WCDMA/HSPA+ power amplifiers (PAs) to leading smart-phone and 3G device makers in Korea and China. The RF720x product family is currently supporting multiple new data-centric devices, and volume shipments are forecast to increase materially in 2010.

RFMD says that the RF720x PAs maximize efficiency across all major 3G frequency bands (1–6, 8–11, 33, 34) to extend battery life in both voice and data operation. The PAs also feature what is claimed to be the industry's highest mid-power to high-power switch point, enabling further improvement in efficiency and higher data throughput in mid-power data modes up to 19dBm (several decibels better than existing competitive offerings).

The higher mid-power switch point is especially critical to manufacturers of next-generation 3G/4G smart phones, as they seek greater reductions in output power in data-only operation. Also, by optimizing all switch points (low-power, mid-power and high-power) for data-centric smart phones, the RF720x product family reduces test times related to calibration, further lowering total system costs while also accelerating time-to-market, it is reckoned.

“RFMD’s RF720x product family helps smart phone manufacturers significantly enhance the consumer experience by extending battery life and enabling smaller device form factors,” says Eric Creviston, president of the firm’s Cellular Products Group (CPG). “The RF720x product family also lowers our customers’ total system costs and helps to maximize customer-level factory throughput by minimizing design cycle times and test times,” he adds. “We are particularly excited about new smart-phone programs we are supporting in Korea and China, and we look forward to ramping new design wins in the near-term in Europe and North America.”

The RF720x product family includes nine high-performance PAs designed for smart phones and 3G devices implementing mode-specific, band-specific front-end architectures. It accommodates all major WCDMA/HSPA+/TD-SCDMA bands and band combinations and is optimized for seamless operation with reference designs from Qualcomm and other leading open-market 3G chipset suppliers.

RFMD’s 3G product portfolio accommodates all major RF architectures, including existing mode-specific/band-specific and mode-specific/multi-band architectures as well as emerging multi-mode/multi-band, converged architectures.