Module Aims To Cut Cost Of Next-Generation WLAN Systems

SiGe Semiconductor has developed and launched a 5GHz power amplifier module for access points, PCMCIA cards, laptop computers and other client devices compliant to the 802.11a WLAN standard. The RangeCharger SE2534A is based on the company's integrated, high-performance power amplifier architecture and is claimed to simplify design and reduce the cost of next-generation WLAN systems.

The module has a linear three-stage power amplifier, power detector, analogue biasing and inter-stage matching circuitry in a matched 5mm x 5mm chip-scale module. It is supplied in an industry-standard LGA package that is pin-to-pin compatible with alternative 802.11a power amplifiers. One aspect of the design is the high integration of the SE2534A which allows manufacturers to quickly realise savings by using the SE2534A as a drop-in replacement in their cost-reduction re-designs.

'Our new power amplifier is generating significant interest among Wi-Fip system manufacturers, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region,' said Andrew Parolin, director of wireless power amplifiers at SiGe Semiconductor. 'Many of these manufacturers are using SiGe's 2.4GHz power amplifiers for the 802.11b/g RF chains in their dual-band solutions. The addition of the SE2534A to SiGe's existing 5GHz product line means manufacturers can easily migrate their 5GHz RF chains to our solution, without a board layout change.'

Optimising wireless connectivity
The SE2534A offers high linear power, capable of +17.5dBm output power with an error vector magnitude (EVM) of less than 3%. Consequently, the company believes the SE2534A improves packet error rates for optimal data throughput and transmission range. This ensures that Wi-Fi products can maintain reliable, high-performance connections over longer distances.

The module further improves performance with an integrated power detector that solves the challenges associated with OFDM signals. The power detector adjusts the operating point to accommodate the peak-to-average power ratio, and reduces power consumption accordingly, thus saving power while maintaining performance. Consuming just 160 milliamps for +17.5dBm output power, the SE2534A is ideal for WLAN applications. It is available now in quantities of 100k units. The RF front-end is supplied in a 10-pin LGA package that measures 5mm x 5mm x 1.4mm.

Lead-free Initiative
The RangeCharger SE2534A RF front end is a lead-free product. The use of lead in the design and manufacture of electronic products is an increasing environmental concern. In support of industry-wide initiatives to protect the environment, SiGe Semiconductor has instigated a lead-free programme. The intent is to show full compliance with the European Union Directive 2002/95/EC (27 Jan 2003) on the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronics equipment (RoHS).

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