20 June 2012

Infineon launches 8th-generation low-noise SiGe:C RF transistors for 5-6GHz consumer wireless 

At the 2012 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS) in Montreal, Canada (17-22 June), Germany’s Infineon Technologies AG has launched the BFx840xESD series of SiGe:C (silicon-germanium: carbon) heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) devices for low-noise amplifier (LNA) applications, suited to the design of consumer wireless products operating in the 5-6GHz range (including current and next-generation WiFi access points and modules).

The new transistors allow engineers to boost the overall performance of WiFi systems to achieve both wider coverage areas and the very high throughput defined in the upcoming IEEE 802.11ac standard. Additional applications include WiMAX and UWB (ultra-wideband) wireless and satellite communications.

Infineon says that this eighth generation of its SiGe:C process technology is engineered with inherent power and noise matching in the 5GHz band, so it achieves best-in-class system performance (18dB gain and 0.96dB noise figure) with only eight external passives and a single inductor in WiFi LNA application circuits (four less than alternatives, it is claimed).

“This evolution of the Infineon SiGe:C portfolio provides designers with the means to achieve RF performance goals in compact, low-power wireless systems,” says Houssem Chouik, product marketing manager for RF Transistor Solutions at Infineon. “Based on the eighth generation of our HBT process technology, these new devices once again meet or exceed the RF performance levels of alternatives and provide cost savings by reducing the number of passive devices needed in system design,” he adds.

The BFx840xESD series transistors, when measured at the device level in the test fixture, achieve 22-23dB maximum gain and have what are claimed to be best-in-class noise figures of 0.65-0.85dB in the 5GHz band, allowing engineers to meet design goals of total system noise levels below 2dB. WiFi LNA designs using these transistors need 50% fewer external parts than other available solutions.

Features of the BFx840xESD series that contribute to system reliability and design flexibility include the following:

  • on-chip electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection up to 1.5kV human body model (HBM) and RF power overdrive handling capability of 20dBm;
  • operation with a supply voltage as low as 1.2V with no performance deterioration, suiting battery-driven systems; and
  • availability in three different package types for design-in to different platforms, including standard SOT-343, flat-lead TSFP-4-1, and ultra-low-height (0.31mm) TSLP-3-9 for RF module applications.

Samples of the BFx840xESD are available now, along with evaluation boards. Production ramp is expected this summer.

Tags: Infineon SiGe:C RF transistors

Visit: www.infineon.com/next-generation_rf-transistors

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