26 September 2011

NXP’s SiGe:C yields lowest-power Ku-band downconverters for sat TV receivers

NXP Semiconductors N.V. of Eindhoven, Netherlands has launched the TFF101xHN, a family of integrated downconverters for use in low-noise block (LNB) 10.7-12.75GHz Ku-band satellite receiver systems.  

The LNB downconverter is the device at the front of a parabolic satellite dish antenna that receives the very low-level microwave signal from the satellite, amplifies the signal and converts it to a lower frequency band in order to send it down the cable to the indoor receiver. The Ku band (Kurtz-under band) is primarily used for satellite communications, particularly for editing and broadcasting satellite television.

The downconverters are the most recent additions to NXP’s portfolio for satellite LNB, including other discrete products such as oscillators, amplifiers and switches, to provide complete coverage for all LNB architectures. Designed for downlink signal reception for TV satellite dishes, the new DVB-S compliant downconverters consume 50% ¬†less current (Icc = 52mA) than other integrated solutions, increasing the lifetime of the LNB and improving its reliability, it is claimed.

The TFF101xHN family offers simplicity and integration in a leadless 16-pin DHVQFN16 (2.5mm x 3.5mm x 0.85mm) package with a conversion gain ranging from 37dB to 45dB. They also offer integrated phase noise of 1.5 degrees RMS (10kHz-13MHz integration bandwidth) and a low noise figure of 7dB. Additionally, this high level of integration guarantees stability of the local oscillator (LO), which improves overall system reliability by eliminating LO drift over lifetime due to temperature changes.

The TFF101xHN family is backed by NXP’s proprietary QUBiC4 SiGe:C processes and RF intellectual property. Available since 2002, QUBiC4 technology has been widely deployed in the field and offers more consistent parameter performance compared to gallium arsenide technology, NXP claims, speeding migration from GaAs to silicon and delivering more functionality in less space. High integration reduces the design footprint and enables more cost-competitive designs in small PCB real-estate, it adds, as well as improving reliability and offering savings in manufacturing expenditure.

For satellite LNB makers, due to the high integration level of functionality and the need for just seven external components and no inductors, assembly is also made easy. The TFF101xHN family comes in four fully RF-tested versions with pre-set LO frequencies, which reduces the need for manual adjustments on the production line, speeding up the manufacturing process and time to market, as well as lowering operating costs, the firm says.

“The new TFF101xHN downconverters take advantage of our state-of-the-art QuBiC4 SiGe:C technology, offering more functionality in less space, with better performance and lower power consumption than other solutions,” claims Greg Baker, NXP’s senior director & manager, RF small-signal product line. “Our RF small-signal portfolio based on QuBiC4 enables a wide range of applications from mobile platforms, personal navigation devices, software-defined radio and e-metering, to AESA radars, satellite DBS and VSAT, base-stations, point-to-point radio links and WLAN, where high frequency and high integration levels are essential,” he adds.

“After consultation with satellite LNB makers, we have developed an improved and fully integrated downconverter solution that reduces both power consumption and time to market,” says Guido Bekkers, worldwide marketing manager, RF satellite products. “This level of integration isn’t common in the LNB market, which is dominated by discrete solutions characterized by the chance of LO drift, something which our downconverters completely eliminate. Savings in assembly time also means that the TFF101xHN offers LNB makers a solution with a very low cost of ownership.”

Multiple gain types are available. The 39dB TFF1015HN and the 42dB TFF1017HN are available now via distributors. The 36dB TFF1014HN and the 45dB TFF1018HN will be available in early October.

Tags: NXP SiGe:C

Visit: www.nxp.com

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