3 September 2010


SiGe launches 2nd-generation higher-efficiency WiMAX PA in QFN package

SiGe Semiconductor Inc of Andover, MA and Ottawa, Canada, which supplies silicon-based radio-frequency power amplifiers (PAs) and front-end modules (FEMs), has further expanded its series of power amplifiers with the SE7271T, a single high-power PA that can cover both 2.3–2.4GHz and 2.5–2.7GHz WiMAX bands, reducing bill of materials (BoM) count and cost for USB dongles, data cards, mobile Internet devices and WiMAX-enabled handsets.

“Our proven system knowledge and device integration has enabled us to deliver this compact, small-footprint PA with unequalled power added efficiency,” says Sanjiv Shah, marketing director for WiMAX Products at SiGe. “With the SE7271T's low current consumption, we are delivering the battery life that consumers have come to expect in mobile devices,” he adds.

The new, highly integrated single-die PA is fully matched with a step attenuator, power detector and harmonic filter all in a small lead- and halogen-free, RoHS-compliant 3mm x 3mm x 0.6mm quad flat no lead (QFN) package. The integrated impedance match combines with the device’s functionality to create a plug-and-play solution that both simplifies the design of mobile WiMAX products and improves their manufacturability, says the firm. The SE7271T’s lower current consumption and higher efficiency reduce current draw, leading to improved battery life in WiMAX-enabled handsets, mobile Internet devices and laptops. PA current consumption is critical in USB dongles, where the limits on available power supply current typically force reductions in the RF output power of less-efficient PAs, reducing network coverage and data rate.

“Competitors struggle with delivering to customers the key value points for the evolution of mobile WiMAX products,” says Shah. “Competitive products are physically larger or are not compliant with the temperature range required for data cards and USB dongles. And some don’t cover the complete 2.5GHz WiMAX band,” he adds. “Full 2.3–2.7GHz coverage, increased efficiency at high RF power levels, –40 to +85ºC operating temperature range, reduced package height — these are critical performance areas for mobile WiMAX PA.”

According to market analyst Dell’Oro Group, the number of WiMAX subscribers are expected to rise from 7 million in 2009 to 69 million by 2013. “Whether using wired or wireless networks, today’s consumers expect broadband speed and performance,” Shah says. “WiMAX is the next-generation standard for delivering wireless high-bandwidth connectivity in fixed and mobile environments, and our RF PAs and FEMs deliver the reliability, flexibility, and performance OEMs require and WiMAX consumers demand,” he continues. “The SE7271T provides our customers with an integrated solution for their designs. The reduced design time it supports, with the smallest footprint for its functionality as well as the reduction of the number of components required and cost, all make it a device of choice for USB dongles, data cards, mobile Internet devices and WiMAX-enabled handsets,” Shah claims.

The SE7271T is priced at US$2.22 in quantities of 10,000 units. It is offered with product and evaluation board datasheets and extensive application notes about its use and implementation. Also, SiGe’s customer support is available to assist in designing, upgrading or retrofiting the SE7271T into application designs to optimize performance.

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