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RF-Sampling Transceivers Enable Multi-Antenna Wideband Systems

March 26, 2019
First integrated quad- and dual-channel RF-sampling transceivers deliver highest IBW and widest frequency range

Texas Instruments (TI) recently introduced two new radio frequency (RF)-sampling transceivers that the company claims are the first in the industry to integrate four analog-to-digital converters (ADCs) and four digital-to-analog converters (DACs) on a single chip. With their wide frequency range, high instantaneous bandwidth, and 75% smaller design footprint than a discrete solution, the quad-channel AFE7444 and dual-channel AFE7422 transceivers help engineers more easily achieve multi-antenna, direct RF sampling for radar, software-defined radio, and wireless 5G applications. The features include:

Instantaneous bandwidth (IBW): With their extremely high IBW, the AFE7444 and AFE7422 enable engineers to achieve up to 600% more data throughput. While sampling up to 9 Gsamples/s per DAC and up to 3 Gsamples/s per ADC, the AFE7444 receives and transmits up to 800 MHz of information from each of the four antennae and the AFE7422 receives and transmits 1.2 GHz from each of the two antennae.

Frequency range: The new RF-sampling wideband transceivers give engineers the flexibility to design applications covering any frequency from 10 MHz to 6 GHz.

Reduced component count: The AFE7444 and AFE7422 enable engineers to support up to eight antennae and 16 RF bands with only one device. The transceivers also allow engineers to directly sample input frequencies into C-band without the need for additional frequency-conversion stages, eliminating local oscillators, mixers, amplifiers and filters in designs. Additionally, the two transceivers’ architecture allows for greater programmability than traditional RF solutions and flexible decimation options enable optimization of data bandwidth.

Reduced design cycles: The AFE7444 and AFE7422 help engineers significantly reduce design cycles that are associated with the manufacturing and testing phases required when designing with discrete components.

Smaller design footprint: Measuring 17 mm by 17 mm, the transceivers help save engineers 75% of board space when compared with using discrete RF-sampling data converters.

Board placement flexibility: The integration and small size of the AFE7444 and AFE7422 allow engineers to optimize transceiver proximity to the antenna, enabling digital beamforming in high-frequency and high-density antenna arrays.

For more information, see www.ti.com/AFE7444-pr and www.ti.com/AFE7422-pr. Available in 17- by-17-mm, flip-chip ball grid array (FCBGA) packages, the AFE7444 and AFE7422 are priced at US$1749.90 and $1249.90, respectively, in 100-unit quantities.

The transceivers can be evaluated with the AFE7444EVM and AFE7422EVM evaluation modules. The evaluation modules are priced at US$2499 and US$1999, respectively.

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