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13 August 2015

IDT extends RF voltage variable attenuator range to 6GHz, claiming 1000-fold linearity improvement over GaAs

Integrated Device Technology Inc (IDT) of San Jose, CA, USA has added two new members to its growing family of silicon-based RF voltage variable attenuators (VVA) – which deliver analog control for applications that require precise attenuation – expanding the firm's frequency coverage to a range of 1MHz to 6GHz.

Like the other members of the family, the F2255 and F2258 devices offer what is claimed to be industry-leading low insertion loss and high linearity. Coming in a compact 3mm x 3mm, 16-pin TQFN package, the new devices offer about half the insertion loss of competitive solutions, IP3 (third-order intercept point) linearity performance 1000x (30dB) better than the competing gallium arsenide (GaAs) device, it is reckoned, and exhibit a linear-in-dB attenuation characteristic across the voltage control range. Their low insertion loss reduces RF chain path loss, while their high linearity improves system data rates.

The new devices match popular footprints and are suitable for base-stations (2G, 3G and 4G), microwave infrastructure, public safety, portable wireless communication/data equipment, test/ATE equipment, military systems, JTRS radios, and HF, VHF and UHF radios.

"IDT's silicon-based RF products deliver exceptional performance compared to GaAs solutions, in this case up to a 30dB linearity improvement," said Chris Stephens, general manager of IDT's RF division. "These devices are the lowest insertion loss VVAs on the market, and have the most linear attenuation control characteristic."

IDT claims that, by using silicon-based RF semiconductor technology, its attenuators offer a robust alternative to older GaAs-based technology. Silicon offers more robust electrostatic discharge (ESD) protections, better moisture sensitivity levels (MSL), improved thermal performance, lower current consumption, and proven reliability, the firm adds.

Comparing the F2258 to its pin-compatible GaAs competitor, the device has an input IP3 of up to 65dBm versus 35dBm, a maximum attenuation slope of 33dB/V versus 53dB/V, minimum return loss up to 6000MHz of 12.5dB versus 7dB, and a maximum operating temperature range of 105°C versus 85°C. The F2255 supports a frequency range down to 1MHz and has a maximum attenuation slope of 33dB/V.

Both devices have bi-directional RF ports, support a single positive supply voltage of either 3V or 5V, and have an operating temperature range of –40°C to 105°C.

See related items:

IDT teams with EPC to integrate GaN and silicon

Tags: GaAs pHEMT

Visit: www.IDT.com

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