Wireless Systems Design

On The Wireless Front

Thanks to its introduction of a 256-kB, electrically erasable and programmable ROM (EEPROM) embedded smart card, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. now offers a full lineup of high-performance, high-capacity smart-card technologies. The smart-card IC (part number: S3CC9EF) has a broad range of applications that include the User Identity Module (UIM) and Universal Subscriber Identity Module (USIM) for GSM/GPRS and IMT 2000 handsets. Other applications include Java cards, multimedia products, and electronic passports. Demand for such passports has surged due to efforts to ensure security measures in individual identification systems.

The S3CC9EF features a 256-kB EEPROM, 384-kB ROM, and 8-kB static RAM. It satisfies the specifications required by makers of high-performance smart cards and Subscriber Identity Module cards. Samsung's S3CC9EF also comes with a 16-b CalmRISC CPU. It was developed in-house and triple DES—the standard symmetrical key encryption.

The smart-card IC is fast and highly reliable in protecting the user ID. An attack-prevention design technology has even been applied to prevent hackers from accessing personal data.

The S3CC9EF is currently available for sales worldwide. For more information, go to www.samsung.com.

Xilinx, Inc. is now shipping five members of its Spartan-3 family. These members include the XC3S50, XC3S200, XC3S400, XC3S1000, and XC3S1500 devices. The Spartan-3 family is the only 90-nm FPGA family in production. Already, more than 3000 Spartan-3 development kits are in customers' hands for a range of low-cost consumer-electronics, industrial, data-processing, and communications applications.

The 90-nm Spartan-3 platform claims to offer unrivaled price points with more density and performance features than any other device in its class. The platform features a combination of block and distributed RAM, up to 784 I/Os, MicroBlaze 32-b RISC soft processors, and XtremeDSP functionality. That functionality includes dedicated 18-x-18 multipliers that deliver up to 330 billion multiply and accumulates (MACs) per second. Additionally, Spartan-3 devices support 24 leading I/O standards, such as PCI, DDR, LVDS, and RSDS.

The Spartan-3 Starter Kit is an easy-to-use development system for instant access to the complete platform capabilities of the Spartan-3 family. The $99 kit provides all of the elements needed to develop, debug, and complete a design.

The XC3S50, XC3S200, and XC3S400 devices with 50,000, 200,000, and 400,000 system gates, respectively, are available for less than $6.50 USD. The XC3S1000 Spartan-3 device with one million system gates is available for under $12.00. The XC3S1500 with 1.5 million system gates is available for under $20.00. These devices are available from distributors worldwide or directly from Xilinx at www.xilinx.com.

Maxim Integrated Products now offers the MAX8570-MAX8575 family of high-efficiency, step-up converters. This family is ideal for the LCD and OLED display bias used in personal digital assistants (PDAs), digital still cameras (DSCs), mobile phones, palmtop computers, and other handheld portable equipment.

The converters operate from a 2.7-to-5.5-V supply voltage. They have an internal switch that delivers up to 28 V at the output. The MAX857x family offers up to 87% efficiency and only 25-mA quiescent current in light-load conditions. Each device includes an extra internal switch to provide true shutdown. This feature completely disconnects the output from the input supply when the device is not active.

The MAX857x converters address the long-standing problem of display damage resulting from runaway output for high-voltage boost converters. Protection features make these ICs extremely robust. For example, if the output capacitor or one of the feedback resistors is disconnected or missing, the devices protect the internal switch from being damaged. In fact, in response to most fault conditions, the MAX8570 family protects not only itself but also the downstream circuitry.

The MAX8570 family is offered with 110-mA, 250-mA, and 500-mA current limits in both adjustable and fixed output voltages. This allows designers to select the best device to minimize output ripple and component size. They also can maximize efficiency for their specific application. The MAX857x family is specified for the extended temperature range (−40° to +85°C). It is packaged in a 6-pin SOT23. Evaluation kits are available with recommended external components to speed designs. Prices start at $1.25 (1000-up, FOB USA). Go to www.maxim-ic.com for additional information.

Fairchild Semiconductor has now brought the FAN5607 constant-current parallel LED driver to market. This flexible device provides analog and/or PWM brightness control for LCD backlighting in ultra-portable applications. The FAN5607 has a three-mode charge pump and reaches 93% peak efficiency. Internal auto-sense circuitry maintains high efficiency even when driving less than a maximum of four LEDs. It also ensures very tight current matching over the full range of the LED's current.

In addition to providing very high peak efficiency, the internal circuitry of the FAN5607 saves space and simplifies designs when compared to competitive parts. Such competitors require an external control signal to maintain efficiency when driving less than four LEDs. To further reduce space in handheld designs, the FAN5607 is offered in one of the smallest packages available in the industry: a 4-x-4 molded leadless package (MLP).

The FAN5607 offers built-in overvoltage protection. In addition, it features a shutdown mode, soft-start, and short-circuit protection. The low ground current and shutdown mode extend battery life and increase reliability. The packaging of the FAN5607 also complies with the industry's desire to manufacture more environmentally beneficial products. This lead-free (Pb-free) product meets or exceeds the requirements of the joint IPC/JEDEC standard, J-STD-020B. It also complies with the European Union requirements that will take effect in 2005.

The FAN5607 is now available at a price of $0.90 apiece in unit quantities of 1000. To learn more, go to www.fairchildsemi.com.

National Semiconductor Corp. signed a definitive agreement to sell its imaging business to Eastman Kodak Company. As part of this agreement, Kodak will acquire assets including intellectual property and equipment.

The financial terms of this transaction have not been disclosed. The sale, which requires approval from regulatory agencies and the satisfaction of certain customary closing conditions, is expected to close soon.

According to Brian L. Halla, Chairman, President, and CEO of National Semiconductor, this transaction benefits both companies. "For National, this sale enables us to further sharpen our focus on core analog capabilities that provide the strongest returns for shareholders. And Kodak is ideally positioned to leverage National's CMOS-image-sensor (CIS) technologies into its image-sensor business."

For Kodak, the addition of the imaging business from National will further strengthen its CIS design and development expertise as the company targets high-volume applications, such as consumer digital still cameras and camera phones. For more information on this sale, go to www.national.com.

State of the Art (SOTA), Inc. is now offering a new resistive-components product catalog. This catalog presents the most extensive line of high-reliability, military thick- and thin-film resistors and resistive products for surface-mount applications. The catalog details multiple quality product lines including high-frequency components, low value, high value, and high power. Qualifications to MIL-PRF-914 and MIL-PRF-55342 to "S" level and "T" level (space-level) reliability are also highlighted along with quality systems ISO 9001 and AS9100. For more information, go to the company's web site at www.resistor.com.

An 850-MHz programmable-gain broadband amplifier from Linear Technology now boasts the best distortion characteristics of any amplifier in its class. The LT5514 exhibits an output third-order intercept (OIP3) of 49 dBm at 70 MHz. It has second- and third-order distortion products lower than −87 dBc. The device delivers 2-V peak-to-peak output into a 200-Ω load. Its combination of low noise and high spurious-free-output capability makes it the driver of choice for the 12- and 14-b, 65-Msample/s or faster analog-to-digital converters in high-performance communication systems.

The high performance of the LT5514 makes it ideal for a range of applications including the following: IF amplifiers for cellular base-station receivers; amplifier/drivers for base-station-transmitter distortion-correction loops; and amplifiers for cable headend upstream receivers. The device's variable gain is adjusted by means of an on-chip, digitally controlled attenuator in combination with a fixed-gain amplifier. A 4-b parallel input word provides accurate gain control ranging from 10.5 to 33 dB with a 1.5-dB incremental step.

The LT5514 has a differential input and output topology. That topology provides a balanced drive to an analog-to-digital converter (ADC) while preserving its very low distortion characteristics. Even with 50-Ω loads, the amplifier output can swing more than 3 Vp-p to match any ADC's input voltage range. As an amplifier, the LT5514 has a gain flatness of ±1 dB over a 450-MHz bandwidth. Meanwhile, it introduces very little group delay, reducing phase distortion over a wide operating frequency.

The LT5514 contains two output amplifiers connected in parallel. Optimal distortion performance is achieved when both amplifiers are operating. The LT5514 comes in a 20-pin, plastic TSSOP package. The price in 1000-piece quantities is $5.20. The product is available from stock. For additional product details, go to www.linear.com.

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