Electronic Design

Integrated LNAs And PAs Serve As Drop-In Replacements

By combining microwave design expertise with thin-film-on-glass technology, Intarsia has fabricated highly integrated low-noise-amplifier (LNA) and power-amplifier (PA) modules for broadband wireless access and cellular applications. Designed as drop-in solutions for these applications, the fully integrated RF modules set a new low in noise-figure (NF) performance.

Four LNAs target frequencies spanning from 800 MHz to 6.0 GHz. The LNA-015-01-S08, ranging from 1.5 to 2.7 GHz, features the lowest NF at 0.65 dB. The LNA-008-03-S08, covering 800 to 900 MHz, has the highest NF at 1.2 dB. The LNA-020-01-S08 has a minimum NF of 0.75 dB from 2.0 to 2.75 GHz, and the LNA-030-01-S08 has a minimum NF of 0.9 dB spanning 3.0 to 6.0 GHz. The gain in these LNAs is optimized to meet system needs, while the output power is sufficiently high to obtain a linear performance.

The three-stage PAs can serve single- or dual-band cell phones in the 1.7- to 1.9-GHz range. Using pHEMT transistors, these modules include complete I/O matching networks as well as biasing and decoupling components in a single plastic package to make life easier for a system designer.

Typical output power is 30 dBm, with low I/O return loss. For example, the PAM-018-03-M48, operating from 1.75 to 1.91 GHz, offers an input return loss of 10 dB and an output return loss of 8 dB. It supports both U.S. and Korean PCS bands. The other two new PAs are the PAM-018-04-M48 for the Korean PCS band of 1.75 to 1.78 GHz, and the PAM-018-05-M48 for the U.S. PCS band of 1.85 to 1.91 GHz.

Meanwhile, Intarsia is already developing second-generation modules with even higher levels of integration and complexity. In fact, it's now preparing multifunction modules that integrate the LNA and the PA, with later plans to incorporate a mixer and a switch booster. These second-generation subsystem RF modules are slated for release toward year's end.

Sampling now, the modules will go into production next quarter. For 10,000 pieces, the LNAs cost $2 to $3. In similar quantities, the PAs are priced under $5.

Intarsia Corp., 48611 Warm Springs Blvd., Fremont, CA 94539; (510) 354-6301; www.intarsiacorp.com.

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