A family of surface-mount downconverter modules has hit the streets to serve current and next-generation mobile-infrastructure base-station applications. It promises small size and increased performance at a price that is lower than today's discrete solutions. Known as the CV Series Multi-Chip-Module (MCM) converters, these densely integrated devices boast higher linearity, lower noise figure, and higher reliability. These features stem from a tight integration of mixer, LO amplification, and IF amplification functions in a single 28-pin, 6-×-6 mm, quad-flat no-lead (QFN) surface-mount package. Ultra-reliable GaAs MESFET and InGaP HBT process technology enable this mix between size, performance, and cost.
One of the specific features of this device is frequency conversion via integral LO driver amplifiers. This aspect allows the powering of the passive mixer with the option of off-chip IF filtering. The integral LO driver amplifier enables operation directly from the synthesizer.
Currently, three models of the CV Series MCM converter family have been released. Known as the CV210-1, CV210-3, and the CV211-1, they are dual-branch downconverters for the cellular, PCS, and UMTS bands, respectively.
The CV210-1 model is viable in the frequency range of 800-to-915-MHz RF, 65-to-120-MHz IF, and 680-to-850-MHz LO. Its downconversion gain is 10 dB and its noise figure is 11.5 dB with a current of 430 mA and a bias of 5 V. The CV210-3 model spans the 800-to-935-MHz RF, 200-to-350-MHz IF, and 1000-to-1275-MHz LO frequency ranges. The CV211-1, on the other hand, supports these frequency ranges: 1710-to-2000-MHz RF, 65-to-250-MHz IF, and 1460-to-1935-MHz LO. Like the CV210-1, both the CV210-3 and CV211-1 models flaunt a downconversion of 10 dB and a noise figure of 11.5 dB. They have a current of 430 mA and a bias of 5 V.
Future releases of the CV Series MCM converter family will include both dual- and single-branch models. Evaluation boards and samples are now available by request from the company's Web site. In 10,000-piece quantities, the unit price for the CV Series models are running at $6.99 each.
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