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13 February 2007


RFMD launches flexible UMTS transmit system for multi-region multimode 3G handsets

RF Micro Devices Inc of Greensboro, NC, USA will launch its RF628x family of products (to be sampled in third-quarter 2007) at this week’s 2007 3GSM World Congress in Barcelona, Spain. These collectively provide a UMTS transmit system that supports all major UMTS frequency bands for the implementation of multi-region multimode 3G handset platforms.

The transmit system consists of the RF6280, RF6281 and RF6285: a dedicated single-band power amplifier module (supporting Band I), a flexible dual-band power amplifier module (capable of supporting Bands I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VIII, IX) and a low-noise, high-efficiency DC-to-DC converter/controller. Compact design enables a greater than 30% reduction in the implementation of tri-band UMTS solutions, including filtering, it is claimed.

By leveraging the broadband characteristics of the dual-band RF6285, the transmit system simplifies the implementation of multimode, multi-region 3G handset platforms. Also, by leveraging a balanced PA architecture, the transmit system provides improved total radiated power (TRP) and specific absorption rate (SAR) performance, which eliminates the need for costly RF isolators and also simplifies platform implementation.

RFMD says its transmit system offers best-in-class efficiency through the use of analog bias control and the RF6280 DC-to-DC converter/controller, which maximize efficiency across all power levels and data rates (voice-only to HSPA). This helps to extend talk time and reduces thermal dissipation, claims RFMD.

The transmit system strengthens RFMD's position as the number-one supplier of UMTS power amplifiers, claims Konrad Alvarino, general manager of RFMD’s components business unit. It also provides the flexibility to design a single platform that supports multiple UMTS regions by simply changing filter components: no change to the phone board’s RF layout is necessary.

RFMD forecasts that the 3G multimode market will exceed 500 million handsets by 2010, reflecting a compound annual growth rate nearing 40%. It also estimates that the number of UMTS frequency bands supported by the average 3G multimode device will approximately double by 2010. RFMD claims to be the global leader in UMTS power amplifiers.

* RFMD adds DC-to-DC converters

The RF6280 together with the RF9003 are two new low-noise, high-efficiency DC-to-DC converters that extend battery life and reduce thermal dissipation for mobile communication devices by improving efficiency across their output power range and optimizing performance over an extended battery voltage discharge profile.

The expanding feature sets of next-generation EDGE and 3G multimode mobile devices are driving demand for DC-to-DC converters, says RFMD. With the integration of Bluetooth, GPS, WLAN and other functionality into mobile devices, the emphasis on current consumption and efficiency has increased proportionally.

RFMD says that, unlike most standalone DC-to-DC converters, its DC-to-DC converters combine a low-noise design with it’s power amplifier expertise to enhance performance and optimize interaction with the firm’s front-end solutions. This enables greater functionality in next-generation mobile devices by improving efficiency and enhancing overall power amplifier performance, RFMD says. However, the DC-to-DC converters can be used in a range of applications and are not restricted to use with RFMD's front-end solutions.

“Our new DC-to-DC converters are very complementary to the open-loop polar modulation architecture of our POLARIS EDGE transceivers and are optimized for superior performance with our family of EDGE and WCDMA power amplifiers,” says Eric Creviston, corporate VP of RFMD's Cellular Products Group.