14 October 2020
Guerrilla launches second 1/4W InGaP HBT linear power amplifier
Guerrilla RF Inc of Greensboro, NC, USA – a provider of radio-frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) and monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) to wireless OEMs – has launched the GRF5506, the second of ten new ¼W linear power amplifiers (PAs) being released over the next two quarters as part of the firm’s expansion into the cellular market. The new indium gallium phosphide (InGaP) heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) amplifiers were designed specifically for 5G/4G wireless infrastructure applications requiring exceptional native linearity over temperature extremes of –40°C to +85°C.
Spanning a frequency range of 660–720MHz, the GRF5506 variant is tuned to operate in the n12, n28, n71 and n83 5G new radio (NR) bands. The device can deliver over 24dBm of linear power over the entire –40°C to 85°C temperature range while maintaining ACLR (adjacent-channel leakage ratio) levels of better than –45dBc, IMD3 (third-order intermodulation distortion) levels < –23dBm, EVM (error vector magnitude) levels < 1% and PAE (power-added efficiency) efficiencies >15% – all without the aid of supplemental linearization schemes like digital pre-distortion (DPD).
The ability to beat the –45dBc ACLR performance metric without DPD is critical for cellular applications like home and commercial repeaters/boosters, femtocells, picocells and cable loss compensators associated with automotive ‘shark fin’ antennas, says the firm. In each of these use cases, the sensitivity to cost, power and size constraints prohibits the use of elaborate linearization techniques like DPD. Instead, designers must rely on the power amplifier’s native linearity to meet the stringent emissions mask requirements imposed by the latest 5G and 4G standards.
During the development of the GRF55xx series, Guerrilla RF consulted directly with its base of customers to ensure the devices delivered the best blend of power and linearity, thus maximizing the effective range and throughput for their cellular systems. The firm also designed the entire family of devices to be fully footprint compatible, enabling its customer base to rapidly customize their designs for a myriad of cellular frequencies.
“The GRF55xx family builds upon the groundbreaking work which we started a year ago with the release of the GRF5504/9 series of 5W InGaP HBT power amplifiers,” says CEO & founder Ryan Pratt. “These new ¼W PAs were created specifically to meet the needs of our strategic customers in the cellular and automotive industries,” he adds. “Together with the original GRF5504/9 series, the GRF55xx family will serve as the beachhead for Guerrilla RF’s expansion into the growing power amplifier market.”
The GRF55xx family comes in pin-compatible 3mm x 3mm, 16-pin QFN packages. The common footprint enables a single design to address multiple bands via simple component swaps.
Samples and evaluation boards are available now for the GRF5506. Prices start at $1.55 (in 10,000-unit quantities, FOB USA).