Wireless Systems Design

WLAN Front-End Modules Support 802.11 Blends

The companies at the forefront of the wireless-LAN (WLAN) arena have been furiously pushing their technologies to the next level. Skyworks Solutions, for example, recently introduced a family of fully integrated 802.11 wireless-LAN modules. The goal of these front-end solutions is to reduce the number of components that are required to build routers, PC cards, and PCI-adapter access points.

In addition to its 802.11b/g module, Skyworks is offering two 802.11a products and two 802.11b/g products. The product line includes a high-performance version and an ultra-low-cost implementation. The suite also features a tri-mode 802.11a/b/g module. This module promises to give designers a comprehensive semiconductor platform. With this platform, designers should be able to support most popular standards and applications.

This WLAN front-end-module family supports the 802.11a, b, and g wireless-LAN standards both individually and in combinations of 802.11b/g and 802.11a/b/g. The frequencies of operation include 2.4 to 2.5 GHz and 4.9 to 5.85 GHz. They support complementary code keying (CCK) for 802.11b and Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM) for 802.11a/g up to 64 quadrature amplitude modulation (64QAM). The five 802.11 WLAN front-end-module products include:

  • SKY65200 WLAN 802.11a/b/g module: This device features two heterojunction-bipolar-transistor (HBT) PAs with built-in power-detection capabilities and a diversity switch manufactured in a GaAs PHEMT process. It also houses two low-temperature co-fired ceramic (LTCC) components: a low-loss bandpass (BP) filter for receive filtering and a dual diplexer. That diplexer incorporates two high- and low-band diplexers into a single component. When coupled with the GaAs diversity switch, it permits the RF signal control of six RF paths in a small space. The SKY65200 meets linearity requirements of up to 21 dBm of output power to the antenna for 802.11b; 16 dBm for 802.11g; and 13 dBm for 802.11a. It is offered in a 15-×-15-×-1.7-mm package.
  • SKY65202 WLAN 802.11a module: This product includes an HBT PA; BP and low-pass (LP) filtering; and a diversity switch manufactured in a GaAs PHEMT process. It meets linearity requirements of up to 15 dBm of output power to the antenna. The SKY65202 comes in an 8-×-10-×-1.7-mm package.
  • SKY65203 WLAN 802.11b/g module: The SKY65203 comprises a single-ended HBT PA; LP filtering for transmit; a diversity switch manufactured in a GaAs PHEMT process; and a BP filter and balanced output for receive. It meets linearity requirements of up to 21 dBm at the antenna for 802.11b and 16 dBm for 802.11g. The SKY65203 is offered in an 8-×-10-×-1.7-mm package.
  • SKY65204 WLAN 802.11b/g module for low-cost applications: Although this module meets the same high-linearity requirements as the SKY65203 and SKY65201, it replaces the diversity switch with individual transmit/receive and antenna switches. It comes in a smaller 6-×-6-×-1.7-mm package.
  • SKY65205 WLAN 802.11b/g module: This device maintains the same performance as the SKY65204. But it includes balanced receive-port functionality. It is available in a 6-×-6-×-1.4-mm package.

All of Skyworks' WLAN front-end modules are offered in low-cost, laminate-based, plastic multichip-module packaging. Pricing in OEM volumes of 50,000 is $3.25 for the SKY65200; $2.25 for the SKY65202; $1.60 for the SKY65203; $1.25 for the SKY65204; and $1.25 for the SKY65205.

Skyworks Solutions, Inc.
20 Sylvan Rd., Woburn, MA 01801; (781) 376-3000, www.skyworksinc.com.

TAGS: Components
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