Wireless Systems Design

On The Wireless Front

Santa Clara, California
National Semiconductor Corp. now offers a high-performance CMOS analog-to-digital converter (ADC). This ADC requires 75% less power than most comparable products on the market. The ADC081000 digitizes signals to 8-b resolution at sampling rates up to 1.6 GHz. It consumes just 1.4 W from a 1.9-V nominal supply. Because the ADC081000 is the fastest, most accurate 8-b ADC at this power-consumption level, it is ideal for high-performance applications such as test and measurement and communications equipment.

The ADC081000 is the first in a family of gigahertz-range ADCs. A dual product in the second half of 2004 and higher-speed versions in 2005 will follow it. The ADC081000 ADC is designed with an extremely low bit error rate (BER). At a 1.6-GHz sampling rate and input frequencies up to 100 MHz, the ADC081000 achieves 0.15 least significant bits (LSB) differential nonlinearity (DNL), 0.35 LSB integral nonlinearity (INL), and 7.5 effective number of bits (ENOB). These specifications are especially important in high-speed oscilloscopes.

The ADC081000 also features a folding/interpolating architecture. Folding reduces the number of comparators, while interpolation greatly reduces the number of front-end amplifiers required. The result is power savings and a reduction in the load on the input signal. The ADC081000 also has an ideal pulse response and guarantees "no missing codes" over the full operating temperature range of −40° to 85°C. This enables the product's high level of performance and accuracy. Lastly, the ADC081000 features a National low-voltage differential-signaling (LVDS) interface, which enables the reliable transmission of high-speed signals while maintaining low noise and distortion levels.

The ADC081000 is housed in a 128-lead exposed-pad package. It is priced at $100 in volumes of 1000. The product is scheduled for full production release in April. Samples will be available at that time. More information about the product is available at www.national.com/pf/AD/ADC081000.html.

Atlanta, Georgia
A new product from T-Technology addresses circuit-board prototyping. The QuickCircuit 900 uses standard CAD (EDA and MCAD) output to provide advanced printed-circuit-board (PCB) prototype systems the same day. It contains one of the largest work areas in the industry and allows prototyping of large antenna and backplane designs. At the same time, it provides for all traditional analog and RF circuit-board-prototyping needs.

The Quick Circuit 9000 comes standard with a number of crucial features. For example, it includes the full-featured IsoPro software. This software easily enables automatic data conversion from almost any CAD package. It allows for "step and repeat" for multiple boards on a panel and includes all machine-driving functionality in a single powerful software package. An intelligent dataconversion capability allows the user to load, view, and edit standard CAD output. Users can also create single or multiple isolation paths and easily specify partial or complete copper removal.

With a simple machine-setup feature, pin-and-groove board alignment makes the Quick Circuit 9000 table simple to set up. It also ensures perfect double-sided board alignment. The Quick Circuit System uses industry-standard tooling. Lastly, precise drilling and milling is achieved through intuitive driver software, which controls the Quick Circuit 9000. New system features include a pneumatic-activated, speed-controlled Z-axis and an enhanced pressure foot for finer milling detail and more effective results on softer substrates.

For more information on the Quick Circuit 9000 system, contact the company at www.t-tech.com.

Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Hittite Microwave has a new family of InGaP HBT MMIC prescalers. They operate from DC (with a square-wave input) to 18 GHz. The ultra-low-additive SSB phase noise, −151 dBc/Hz at around 100-kHz offset, makes this family of dividers ideal for commercial phase-locked-loop (PLL) applications such as VSAT, point-to-point radio, fiber-optic, and test-equipment markets as well as military PLL systems.

The HMC492LP3, HMC493LP3, and HMC494LP3 offer divide ratios of 2, 4, and 8, respectively. Each is housed in a 3-x-3-mm, 16-lead (LP3) QFN surface-mount package that shares common pin assignments. Each operates from a single 5-V supply and accepts a wide input power range of −15 dBm to +10 dBm at midband. These new products complement the company's existing die, plastic, and hermetic-packaged Frequency Divider line while extending it to 18 GHz.

Samples and evaluation PC boards are now available from stock for sampling or sale. Released datasheets are also now available online at www.hittite.com.

Milpitas, California
Two new families of high-speed operational amplifiers from Linear Technology set new low-power and low-noise performance benchmarks. These devices consume only 50% as much power as competitive devices. And they deliver ultra-low-noise performance, rail-to-rail outputs, and fully specified 3.3-V operation. The LT6230/1/2 and LT6233/4/5 amplifiers combine features that are ideal for designing active filters and driving A/D converters in instrumentation, communications, and medical equipment.

The LT6233/4/5 are single/dual/quad ultra-low-noise, rail-to-rail output, unity-gain stable op amps. They feature 1.9-nV/rtHz noise voltage and draw only 1.15 mA of supply current per amplifier. These amplifiers combine very low noise and supply current with a 60-MHz gain bandwidth product and a 17-V/µs slew rate. They are optimized for low-supply-voltage signal-conditioning systems. The LT6233-10 is a 375-MHz single amplifier optimized for higher-gain applications.

The LT6230/1/2 are higher-speed versions that offer 215-MHz gain bandwidth and an even lower voltage noise of 1.1-nV/rtHz. Yet they still draw a best-in-class 3.4 mA of supply current per amplifier. The decompensated version, which is for closed-loop gains greater than 10 (LT6230-10), offers a gain bandwidth product of 1.45 GHz and a 320-V/µS slew rate.

Both amplifier families have an output that swings within 50 mV of either supply rail to maximize the signal dynamic range in low-supply applications. Input offset voltage is trimmed to less than 350 µV—an exceptional value for a high-speed amplifier. The devices are fully specified on 3.3-V, 5-V, and ±5-V supplies. Each is guaranteed over the commercial (0° to 70°C) and industrial (−40° to +85°C) temperature ranges.

The single versions (LT6230/3) offer an enable pin and are available in the six-lead SOT-23 package. The duals (LT6231/4) are offered in the eight-pin SO package with industry-standard pinouts. For compact layouts, the duals are also available in a tiny 3-x-3-x-0.8-mm, dual flat leadless package (DFN). The quads (LT6232/5) are available in the space-saving 16-pin SSOP package.

All versions are in full production with pricing from $1.25 in 1000-piece quantities. For more information, go to www.linear.com.

Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania
Greenray Industries, Inc. has now made its 2004 Shortform Product Catalog available. This eight-page catalog provides customers with detailed product information for a variety of new OCXOs, TCXOs, VCXOs, and clock oscillators. In addition, the catalog provides information about the company's manufacturing and environmental test capabilities.

Greenray Industries is a leading supplier of high-precision, quartz-based oscillators. Such oscillators are ideal for use in wireless, wired telephony, and aerospace applications. Quartz-based oscillators also are used in military, satellite, and other communications-based applications. Information about Greenray products is available at www.greenrayindustries.com or via e-mail at [email protected]

Sunnyvale, California
Maxim Integrated Products now features the MAX3344E/MAX3345E/MAX3346E ±15-kV ESD-protected USB transceivers. Packaged in a tiny UCSP, these devices save 55% of board space over existing solutions. They provide a USB-compliant physical-layer interface for low-voltage ASICs and CPUs. They also are ideal for handheld devices, such as cell phones and PDAs. The USB D+ and D− data lines are protected to ±15 kV per the Human Body Model to provide enhanced protection against ESD strikes along the cable and eliminate external-protection circuitry.

The MAX3344E/MAX3345E/MAX3346E include a 1.5-k pullup resistor and enumerate input. This eliminates the need for an external resistor and allows the devices to logically disconnect while plugged in. In addition, the MAX3344E/MAX3345E detect the availability of VBUS and provide a logic level output to the ASIC and CPU. The MAX3346E is compliant with the USB specification revisions 1.1 and 2.0 operating at low speed (1.5 Mbps) and full speed (12 Mbps). The MAX3344E/MAX3345E are only specified for full-speed operation.

The MAX3344E/MAX3345E/MAX3346E USB transceivers are powered in three ways: VBUS from the USB host, directly from a lithium-ion (Li+) battery, or from a 3.3-V supply. Each device features a low-power suspend mode to work with ASICs that operate down to 1.65 V.

The MAX3344E/MAX3345E/MAX3346E operate over the extended temperature range (−40° to +85°C). The MAX3344E/MAX3345E are available in space-saving, 2-x-2-mm UCSP or 16-pin TSSOP packages. The MAX3346E is available in a 2-x-2-mm UCSP or 14-pin TSSOP package. Prices start at $0.73 (1000-up, FOB USA). For more information, go to www.maxim-ic.com.

Arlington Heights, Illinois
Micro Crystal has come to market with an RTC Module in a miniature ceramic package (MCP). This very small, lead-free SMD ceramic package has been specially designed to combine the 32.768-KHz crystal with the CMOS-based oscillator circuit. The RV-8564-C2 offers an all-in-one package solution with a built-in crystal unit. It provides all clock and calendar functions including programmable clock output, alarm, timer, and IRQ functions.

The RV-8564-C2 RTC module has a supply voltage of 1.8 and 5.5 V. It offers a time-keeping mode down to 1.2 V. Other significant features include a low power consumption of just 250 nA at around 3 V and a small package size of 5.0 x 3.2 x 1.2 mm. For more information, go to www.microcrystal.com.

Hudson, New Hampshire
Micronetics, Inc. has received a $1.3 million re-order to provide integrated microwave assemblies for a U.S. Army Electronic Protection System. According to Micronetics CEO, David Robbins, "This order, made through our Microwave Concepts subsidiary in New Jersey, is in addition to a significant order received for the same program in June 2003. We believe that as more and more defense contractors begin to outsource complex integrated microwave assemblies like these, Micronetics will be ready to meet their needs with increased design and manufacturing capabilities."

Micronetics, operating through its Defense Electronics, Test Solutions, and VCO Products groups, manufactures microwave and radio-frequency (RF) components and integrated subassemblies that are used in a variety of defense, aerospace, and commercial applications. It also manufactures and designs test equipment and components that test the strength, durability, and integrity of communication signals in communications equipment.

One of the company's most recent product introductions is the MW500-1444 voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO). As part of the MW500 product family, this device is ideal for a wide variety of narrowband and wideband applications. Such applications range in frequency from 50 MHz to 7 GHz and supply voltages from 3 to 12 V. A complete listing of this line, including frequency range, supply, and phase-noise specifications, can be obtained online at www.micronetics.com.

San Jose, California
Altera Corp. just launched the newly architected, high-density Stratix II family of FPGAs. Featuring the industry's first adaptable FPGA architecture, Stratix II FPGAs offer more than double the logic density in a single device. They are 50% faster than first-generation Stratix devices. This latest generation of Altera high-density FPGA architectures is 2% more efficient compared to first-generation Stratix devices, allowing designers to pack more functionality into less logic area. The combination of the 90-nm manufacturing process and a highly efficient architecture enables maximum integration. The result is a dramatic cost reduction when compared to previous high-density architectures.

The availability of the 90-nm process technology presented both challenges and opportunities to build a more efficient architecture. As Altera's engineers worked with customers during the product-planning phase of the new family, they also took a closer look at the basic logic structure. Immediately, it became clear that for high-density designs, the nearly 15-year-old, four-input lookup-table (LUT) structure was becoming restrictive. It imposed unnecessary performance and cost constraints on customers. Consequently, a new logic structure was developed and dubbed "adaptive logic module" (ALM), allowing logic to be shared among adjacent-logic functions.

With up to eight inputs to the combinational logic block, one ALM can implement up to two independent functions—each of varying widths—including any function of up to six inputs and certain seven-input functions. Each ALM also contains two programmable registers, two adders, a carry chain, an adder tree chain, and a register chain that make more efficient use of device-logic capacity. This innovative new logic building block delivers more logic capacity in a smaller physical area, provides faster device performance, and is 2.5 times more powerful than the logic structures used in previous FPGA architectures. As an added benefit, Stratix II devices have more than twice the logic of Stratix FPGAs with the equivalent of close to 180,000 logic elements (LEs).

Complementing the brand new logic structure, Stratix II devices include features that were a hit with customers of the original award-winning Stratix devices. These features include TriMatrix memory, digital-signal-processor (DSP) blocks, and external memory interfaces. Optimized for the 90-nm process, the performance of these features is significantly enhanced. They include more density and faster performance and they are faster than previous-generation FPGAs. They also provide up to 4X more DSP bandwidth. The features support the latest memory devices, 1-Gbps I/O transfer speeds with dynamic phase alignment, and higher TriMatrix memory bandwidth.

Stratix II devices also include innovative new features, such as Advanced Encryption Standard (AES)-based, nonvolatile, 128-b encryption technology. They are supported by the Quartus II version 4.0 design software. Engineering samples of the first member of the Stratix II device family, the EP2S60 device, will be available in the second half of 2004. Volume prices start at $125 in 25,000-unit volumes. For more information about Stratix II devices, please visit www.altera.com/stratix2 or www.altera.com.

Hyderabad, India
Xilinx, Inc. recently announced a strategic partnership with CMC Ltd., a Tata Group company and leading provider of embedded and real-time hardware and software solutions in India. Under the terms of this partnership, the two companies will jointly open the Xilinx-CMC India Development Center (XIDC) in Hyderabad. It is being established to develop field-programmable gate-array (FPGA) solutions targeted at high-growth markets, such as digital consumer electronics, automotive, and communications.

According to Xilinx Chairman and CEO, Wim Roelandts, "India is world renowned for its tremendous technical talent. As Asia becomes the center for digital consumer electronics, it is a natural next step for Xilinx to establish a technology development center in partnership with a high-calibre company such as CMC Limited. Our strategy is to invest resources in high-growth areas proportional to sales and revenues. We are confident that the XIDC will help us to expand our presence in the Asia-Pacific region."

Asia Pacific and Japan already account for more than 35% of the company's total revenues in fiscal year 2003 (up from 13% just four years ago). The Xilinx-CMC India Development Center is Xilinx's first research and development facility in the Asia Pacific region. It is expected to grow to 300 employees within the next several years. The new development center is housed within an independent facility on the CMC campus in Hyderabad. Xilinx will provide management support to the center. For its part, CMC will set up and run the XIDC with fully dedicated technology development and managerial staff.

For more information on the Xilinx-CMC India Development Center, go to www.xilinx.com.

Smyrna, Georgia
Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. has recently developed a chip-multilayer LC bandpass filter ("LBF32****SM series") for fixed wireless access (FWA). The filter operates in the 26-GHz extremely high frequency (EHF) band.

As the world's first and smallest chip-type filter for use at 26 GHz, the LBF32****SM measures 3.2 x 2.5 x 1.3 mm. It is surface mountable with the reflow soldering techniques used for conventional, lower-frequency chip components.

The use of Murata's ceramic-multilayer construction technique provides features such as a shielding structure and low loss (less than 1-dB insertion loss at points within the passband). Also, it is lead free.

Starting this month, Murata will have the capability to manufacture 10,000 pieces per month of the LBF32****SM 26-GHz chip-multilayer LC bandpass filter. Additional frequencies will be added to the product family line-up in the near future as dictated by market demand.

To find out more, go to www.murata-northamerica.com.

Mountain View, California
In response to the overwhelming interest in its high-performance, radiation-tolerant RTAX-S family, Actel Corp. now offers the 250,000-gate RTAX250S field-programmable gate array (FPGA). This product extends the family to three devices ranging in density from 250,000 to 2 million equivalent system gates. The addition of the lower-density RTAX250S FPGA further enables Actel to provide access to all of the advantages of the RTAX-S solutions—including on-board memory, practical single-event-upset (SEU) immunity, and an expanded set of I/O standards—to those space designers with moderate logic requirements.

Combined with proven reliability at extreme temperatures and live-at-power-up functionality on a single chip, the product's advantages will enable the RTAX250S device to meet the density, performance, and radiation-resistance requirements of many satellite bus and payload applications. Such applications include command and data handling, attitude and orbit control, and management of spacecraft power and environmental controls.

The RTAX-S high-performance radiation-tolerant devices from Actel offer inherent single-event latch-up (SEL) immunity; immunity to SEUs with a LET threshold far greater than 37 MeV-cm2/mg; and total-ionizing-dose (TID) performance in the region of 300 Krads. The family also features embedded RAM with an upset rate of <1E-10 errors/bit-day with error detection and correction (EDAC). With 250,000 system gates or 30,000 ASIC-equivalent gates, the RTAX250S device contains support for up to 54-Kb of embedded SRAM, 248 user I/Os, and 1408 SEU-hardened registers.

To enable board-level functional verification and the simulation of production-qualified solutions, Actel offers RTAX250S prototyping capability via pin-compatible, commercial Axcelerator FPGAs. The RTAX-S family is supported by the Actel Libero integrated design environment and Actel Designer tool suite, which includes place and route, timing analysis, and memory-generation functionality. Prototyping capability for the RTAX250S is currently available with production scheduled to begin in the second half of this year. The RTAX250S will start at $3980 for 25 units. To learn more, go to www.actel.com.

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