Wireless Systems Design

On The Wireless Front

Chelmsford, Massachusetts
Hittite Microwave Corp. now offers four high-IP3, GaAs MMIC low-noise amplifiers (LNAs). These products are ideal for receiver applications in wireless base stations. Each pHEMT LNA operates from a single positive supply. It features a noise figure of 1 dB or less and an output IP3 of up to 38 dBm.

The HMC356LP3 exhibits a 1.0-dB noise figure, 17-dB gain, and +38-dBm output IP3. It is designed for use in current and emerging GSM and CDMA cellular-base-station and mobile-radio front-end receiver applications from 350 to 550 MHz.

For GSM and CDMA cellular-receiver applications, the HMC372LP3 and HMC373LP3 are rated from 700 and 1000 MHz. Both offer a 1.0-dB noise figure and 14-dB gain with 33 dBm and 35 dBm of output IP3, respectively. The HMC373LP3 also offers an amplifier bypass mode. It exhibits only 2 dB of loss and 50 dBm of output IP3 while consuming just 10 µA of bias current.

The HMC375LP3 is intended for GSM, CDMA, and W-CDMA base-station front-end receivers operating between 1.7 and 2.2 GHz. The cascade topology of this amplifier results in 17-dB gain, a 0.9-dB noise figure, and an output IP3 of 33 dBm.

All four amplifiers are unconditionally stable and are packaged in a 3-x-3-mm QFN leadless package that requires four external components (typical). Samples and evaluation printed-circuit boards are available from stock for sampling or sale. Released datasheets and S-parameter data are available online at www.hittite.com.

San Francisco, California
Micron Technology, Inc. is offering the industry's first 4-GB, DDR2, registered dual in-line memory module (RDIMM) to Intel Corp. The industry-standard, 240-pin PC2-4300 DDR2 RDIMM is populated with 36 1-Gb DDR2 components using a stacked FBGA technology.

"Micron's demonstration of a 4-GB RDIMM and the underlying 1-Gb DDR2 technology is another important step in enabling Intel server platform customers with the latest high-density solutions," said Pete MacWilliams, Intel Senior Fellow, Intel Corp. "We are leveraging Micron's leading position with 1-Gb DDR2 to become the first supplier to demonstrate these high-density DDR2 RDIMMs," said Terry Lee, Executive Director of Advanced Technology and Strategic Marketing for Micron's Computing and Consumer Group. "4-GB DDR2 RDIMMs are the highest-density modules available today, enabling server and workstation customers to ship systems containing 16-GB of DDR2 memory while only populating four module slots." For more information, go to www.micron.com.

Sunnyvale, California
Maxim Integrated Products' MAX9770 is an integrated audio amplifier optimized for applications such as PDAs, digital cameras, and cell phones. It combines the benefits of Maxim's patented low-EMI, filterless, Class-D amplifier technology with a DirectDrive headphone amplifier. The result is a low-cost, low-component-count, audio-amplifier solution.

The 1.2-W low-EMI, filterless, mono Class-D amp offers the audio quality typically associated with linear amps (Class-AB) and the benefits of high-efficiency (80%) Class-D operation. The spread-spectrum modulation scheme reduces EMI emissions up to 6 dB over other competing Class-D solutions, thus meeting FCC EMI levels without additional filtering. Single 2.5-to-5.5-V operation with high 85-dB PSRR allows the device to operate directly from a lithium-ion (Li+) battery. This saves the cost of additional regulation. The low 0.02% THD+N ensures high-quality audio playback. The 80-mW DirectDrive headphone amplifier produces a ground-referenced output from a single supply. This eliminates the two bulky DC-blocking capacitors that are typically required between the amplifier and headphone. Industry-leading click-and-pop suppression eliminates audible transients on power and shutdown cycles. The MAX9770 includes selectable-gain levels and a three-way input mixer.

The MAX9770 is available in small 28-pin TQFN or TSSOP packages. It includes short-circuit and thermal-overload protection and operates over the extended temperature range (-40° to 85°C). Prices for the MAX9770ETI start at $0.75 (100,000-up, FOB USA). For more information, go to www.maxim-ic.com.

Essex, Vermont
HUBER+SUHNER is a recipient of the Northface ScoreBoard Award for 2003. This award is presented annually by Omega Management Group Corp. to organizations that not only offer exemplary customer service, but that also center their existence on a deep commitment to exceed all customer expectations. The customer-centric vision is to create a customer culture around the principles of respecting, empowering, and trusting others.

This year, approximately 75 companies and over 275 projects were judged across the United States. Some of the categories included were technical support, field service, sales process, account management, and training. The evaluation method used by Omega is the weighted average score for the calendar year.

Each of the recipients measured their customer-satisfaction levels at least on a semi-annual basis during the year and achieved a 4.0 or above out of a possible 5.0 score in any of the categories measured. Omega's market research indicates that achieving a 4.0 or above translates into building customer loyalty.

During 2003, Omega conducted two customer-satisfaction surveys on behalf of HUBER+SUHNER in North America. HUBER+SUHNER scored greater than 4 on 4 out of five categories, which included product attributes, sales support, technical support, and shipping and delivery process. For more information, go to www.huber+suhner.com.

Souderton, Pennsylvania
To reflect its position as a worldwide leader, Amplifier Research (AR) has changed its name to AR Worldwide. According to its CEO, Donald Shepherd, "AR has been a global company for many years. The new name simply reflects our ongoing commitment to provide not only exceptional products but superior service to our clients around the world."

For 35 years, AR has played a major role in the success of the automotive, medical, military, aerospace, and telecom industries. The company 's products—which include amplifiers, antennas, transient generators, and complete test systems—are used for a variety of critical applications including testing in a multitude of industries throughout the world.

AR Worldwide attributes its success to its focus on delivering value along with quality. At AR Worldwide, value is multi-dimensional. It includes innovative technology, advanced design, durability and longevity, mismatch capability, an unlimited support network, and less cost watt-for-watt than any other amplifier on the market.

AR Worldwide is unrivaled for innovative technology. This is demonstrated by its products, which range from low-power to high-power amplifiers all with infinite mismatch tolerance. The company's Radiant Arrow "bent element " family of antennas is widely recognized as an industry breakthrough. As further proof of its philosophy, "Quality must equal value," AR Worldwide has recently introduced its "Vision Concept" approach to RF modules. With this approach, customers get a "custom" amplifier or amplifier system from a set of off-the-shelf modules without the long wait or high cost usually associated with specialized designs. For more information, contact AR Worldwide at (215) 723-8181 or www.ar-worldwide.com.

San Diego, California
Silicon Wave and RF Micro Devices have released their newest UltimateBlue Bluetooth single-chip IC, the SiW1722. It is designed exclusively to meet the rigorous RF, power, and cost requirements of CDMA mobile phones using CDMA chip sets with an integrated Bluetooth baseband. Implemented on CMOS process technology, the highly integrated direct-conversion radio modem's unique on-chip RF-matching feature helps drive down cost by eliminating all external RF-matching components. As a result, it is ideal for direct PCB insertion.

The SiW1722 IC is designed to consume up to 20% less power than previous Silicon Wave products. Its direct-conversion architecture allows digital filtering for excellent interference rejection and fewer spurious responses, which results in superior RF performance.

Additional key features of the SiW1722 Radio Modem include support for all popular mobile-phone reference-clock frequencies and the ability to achieve up to -85-dBm receiver sensitivity. It can also achieve 4-dBm transmitter output power over extended operating conditions. A fast hardware-based automatic-gain-control (AGC) circuit dynamically adjusts the receiver for optimal performance. This IC is also fully compliant to Bluetooth specification Version 1.2.

Samples of the SiW1722 IC are available exclusively from RF Micro Devices, Silicon Wave's global channel partner for its CMOS single-chip radio processors and standalone radio-modem Bluetooth solutions. The SiW1722 IC is available in a 5-x-5-mm, QFN-32 pin package or as bumped die. Volume production is anticipated in the third quarter of 2004. For more information about RFMD, please visit www.rfmd.com.

Alameda, California
Red Hat and Wind River Systems have partnered to jointly develop Red Hat Embedded Linux for the device-software-optimization market. Red Hat's Linux will be the foundation of Wind River Linux-based platforms. It will be integrated with Wind River's industry-leading development tools, middleware, and services.

Red Hat is the leading commercial-open-source Linux company. It supports the largest Linux distribution with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Wind River is the market-share leader in commercial-device software optimization with its proprietary real-time operating system, VxWorks, and its VxWorks-based Wind River Platforms. By building Wind River Platforms based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux, customers will have access to widely deployed Linux technology that is fully embraced by the open-source community. For the first time, developers will be able to standardize device software development across the enterprise with VxWorks, Linux, or both.

Under the terms of the agreement, the new Linux distribution will be jointly developed by a team of engineers from both companies. This team will work out of Red Hat's engineering facilities in Westford, Mass. Wind River will be the premier channel for the Red Hat Embedded Linux. Initially, Red Hat Embedded Linux will be targeted at the commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) segment of the device software market for carrier-grade network equipment like high-end routers and switches.

To learn more about the Wind River/Red Hat Embedded Linux platform, please visit www.windriver.com/announces/linux.

Trenton, New Jersey
The SM1720-41L is a 1.7-to-2.0-GHz, solid-state, GaAs FET power amplifier. This ultra-linear medium-power amplifier hails from Stealth Microwave, Inc. It is designed for the Personal Communications (PCS) market. Its small size and ultra-high linearity make it ideally suited for systems using single or multi-carrier CDMA, TDMA, or other high-dynamic-range wireless applications.

Stealth Microwave's proprietary linearization technique dramatically improves the linearity of this amplifier, which provides an OIP3 of 60 dBm typical. The unit provides 51 dB of gain and operates off a single DC supply voltage of 12 V. Standard features of the amplifier include temperature compensation, over/reverse voltage protection, and thermal protection with auto reset. Other available options include logic on/off control and an integral heatsink. The overall package dimensions without the heatsink are 6.7-x-4.0-x-0.8 in. To find out more, go to www.stealthmicrowave.com.

Fairfield, Connecticut
Lemos International is now offering the Promi-SD Bluetooth Module. Enabling wireless communications via Bluetooth, this device is developed for long-range, low-cost, wireless serial communications. Best of all, it is easy to install. This device allows for a point-to-point wireless connection without the standard RS-232 cables. It comes in three different models, including the Class 1 output-power 63-mW (18-dBm) and the Class 2 output-power 2.5-mW (4-dBm) models.

Available now, these products range in price from $114 to $136 apiece in unit quantities of 1 to 50 pieces. For more information on this product line, point your cursor to www.lemosint.com.

Milpitas, California
Linear Technology's newest DC/DC converter is the LTC3429. This 500-kHz, current-mode, synchronous boost device offers true output disconnect, in-rush current limiting, and integrated softstart capability. Its internal 0.35-(omega) (n-channel) and 0.45-(omega) (p-channel) switches provide a guaranteed 600-mA current limit. The switches deliver an output voltage as high as 5 V from an input-voltage range of 0.5 to 4.4 V. This makes it ideal for Li-ion and single or multicell alkaline/NiMH applications.

The LTC3429 can deliver up to 100 mA of continuous output current (at 3.3 V) from a single alkaline cell. Synchronous rectification enables efficiencies of up to 96%. Meanwhile, burst-mode operation lowers the quiescent current to only 20 µA, providing maximum battery run time in handheld applications. A constant switching frequency of 500 kHz minimizes both inductor and capacitor sizes, thereby providing the tiny solution footprint required by handheld applications.

The true output disconnect feature allows the output to be completely discharged in shutdown. It also limits in-rush current during startup, minimizing the surge currents seen by the input supply. Additional features include anti-ringing control, short-circuit protection, softstart, and thermal protection. The LTC3429 delivers an ideal solution for boost applications that require up to 200 mA of output current and where a small solution size and low maximum battery run time are defining factors.

The LTC3429ES6 DC/DC converter is now available from stock in a six-lead ThinSOT package. In quantities of 1000 pieces, pricing starts at $1.95 each. For more information, go to www.linear.com.

Nantes, France
Atmel Corp.'s AT60142E rad-hard SRAM is now available. It meets the radiation, performance, size, and weight requirements of space applications. Produced on a radiation-hardened 0.25-µm CMOS process, the AT60142E is a very-low-power static RAM organized as 512 K x 8 b. It combines rad-hard capabilities: a latch-up threshold and a total dose higher than 70 MeV and 300 Krad, respectively. In addition, it boasts a fast access time of 20 ns over the full military temperature range. The AT60142E is the solution to applications in which fast computing is as important as low power consumption.

To prevent the occurrence of multiple SEU-induced errors in the same byte, Atmel has organized the AT60142E memory plan in eight parallel blocks of 512 K x 1. This careful memory-plan organization allows designers to use simple EDAC systems, thereby improving application performance and minimizing development time and complexity. The combination of a thinner technology with a smaller memory-cell design also contributes to reducing SEU-induced error rates to 1E-9 error per bit per day.

To optimize the AT60142E power consumption, the chip periphery operates at 3.3 V while an internal regulator allows the memory cell to operate at 2.5 V. Hence, a single-supply voltage is needed at the board level, allowing equipment makers to easily implement the AT60142E in any space designs. Housed in a 36-pin, 500-mil-wide, dual in-line flat pack, the AT60142E weighs only 3 g. Thus, it is able to support the stringent size and weight requirements of the aerospace industry.

The AT60142E is available to any Atmel standard space-quality grades, including QML Q & V. The packaged die and bare die support SMD specifications. The AT60142E development has been supported by the Centre National d'Etudes Spatiales (CNES), the French space agency. For more information, go to www.atmel.com.

Santa Clara, California
National Semiconductor Corp. has added three new stereo audio amplifiers to its Overture line of products for home stereo systems. National's newest audio amplifiers feature quiet fade-in/fade-out mute-mode circuitry that gradually brings the sound up or down. These "easy-on-the-ears" transitions enhance the listening experience in compact stereos, high-definition televisions (HDTVs), 5.1 surround-sound systems, and other consumer-electronic equipment.

National's LM4780 is a stereo audio amplifier that is capable of delivering 60 W per channel of continuous average output power. The LM4781 is a three-channel audio amplifier. It is capable of delivering 35 W per channel of continuous average output power into an 8-(omega) load. The LM4782 is a three-channel audio amplifier that can deliver 25 W per channel of continuous average output power into an 8-(omega) load—all with less than 0.5% total harmonic distortion plus noise (THD+N) from 20 Hz to 20 kHz.

The LM4780/81/82 audio amplifiers are fully protected by National's self-peak instantaneous temperature (SPiKe) protection circuitry. SPiKe circuitry provides a dynamically optimized safe operating area. SPiKe protection completely safeguards the LM4780/81/82 outputs against overvoltage; undervoltage; overloads; shorts to the supply or ground; thermal runaway; and instantaneous temperature peaks. The advanced protection features of the LM4780/81/82 audio amplifiers are unique in the field of discrete and hybrid amplifiers. The LM4780/81/82 audio amplifiers can easily be configured for bridge or parallel operation for higher-power and bi-amp solutions. All three audio amplifiers feature independent, smooth fade-in/out mute. In addition, the LM4782 has a power-conserving standby mode. The mute and standby modes can be controlled by external logic signals.

The LM4780 is available now in 27-lead TO-220 packaging and is priced at $3.25. The LM4781 is available now in TO-220 packaging and is priced at $3.25. The LM4782, which comes in TO-220 packaging, is priced at $2.75. All prices are for 1000-unit quantities. More product information is available at www.national.com.

San Jose, California
Xilinx, Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire Triscend Corp., a company specializing in configurable embedded microcontroller technology. The merger will bolster Xilinx's rapidly growing presence in the embedded market by bringing R&D talent and complementary technology expertise into the company. The majority of Triscend's 40 employees, who are currently located at the company's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., will become Xilinx employees.

The company anticipated booking the acquisition in its fiscal fourth quarter ending April 3, 2004. Although financial details were not disclosed, the acquisition represents less than 1% of the total assets of Xilinx as of the end of its fiscal third quarter ending January 3, 2004.

Triscend's configurable microcontrollers are used in a variety of applications, such as industrial controls, security, and consumer electronics. Its technology can be combined with programmable logic, microprocessors, memory, and buses to create single-chip customized solutions.

To find out more about this acquisition, go to www.xilinx.com.

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