18 June 2012

RFMD launches WiFi front-end modules covering multiple WiFi standards and frequency bands

In booth 1210 at the 2012 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS) in Montreal, Canada (17-22 June), RF Micro Devices Inc of Greensboro, NC, USA has launched four RF front-end modules (FEMs) for next-generation WiFi applications. The RFFM8200, RFFM8500, RFFM8202 and RFFM8502 are highly integrated FEMs covering multiple WiFi standards and frequency bands, particularly IEEE802.11n and the emerging 802.11ac specification.

The WiFi market is growing rapidly, driven by increasing consumer demand for access to mobile broadband data and the expanding operator requirements for data offload to accommodate increased cellular and cable network services. By 2015, it is projected that the WiFi FEM mobile/embedded and consumer premises equipment markets will exceed $1.8bn.

“RFMD’s newest WiFi front-end modules demonstrate industry-leading performance and are aligned with the industry's leading WiFi chipset providers on their most anticipated reference designs,” claims Rohan Houlden, general manager of RFMD’s wireless connectivity business unit. “By achieving superior linearity and dynamic EVM [error vector magnitude], RFMD’s WiFi front-end modules enable the proliferation of mobile broadband connectivity across an ever-expanding range of growth markets, including smartphones, tablets, notebooks, ultra-books, PCs, TV/video, e-readers, gaming, and automotive,” he adds.

Dynamic EVM is a critical design specification for high-data-rate WiFi systems. RFMD claims that, while competitor solutions have traditionally measured static EVM performance, its FEMs achieve superior dynamic EVM to deliver best-in-class real-world WiFi system performance. This enables optimum data throughput at increased operator range, current savings through optimal transmit and receive speeds, and an enhancement for video streaming, gaming, and other high-data-rate applications, the firm adds.

The 2.5GHz RFFM8200/8202 and 5GHz RFFM8500/8502 FEMs integrate the power amplifier (PA), low-noise amplifier (LNA), and switch functionality into a single plastic QFN package. Designed for both chip on board (COB) and system-in-package (SiP) implementations, both product families deliver what is claimed to be best-in-class linear output power while operating over a wide range of voltages. The highly integrated FEMs also significantly reduce external component count outside the core WiFi chipset.


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