Freescale simplifies RF power application development

Tampa, FL. Freescale Semiconductor chose the International Microwave Symposium to emphasize its RF product offerings. Paul Hart, senior vice president and general manager, cited RF as representing one of five core product groups at the company (the others being microcontrollers, digital networking, automotive MCUs, and analog devices and sensors). The company targets four primary markets: automotive, networking, industrial, and consumer.

Hart cited two announcements the company made at IMS. First, the company introduced its first plastic-packaged devices designed specifically for high ruggedness applications. Second, and of particular interest to engineers involved in test, measurement, and characterization, the company unveiled what it calls the “RF Power Tool System,” which consists of a bench-top instrument, evaluation board, and NI LabVIEW runtime GUI.

The new plastic-packaged devices are the MRFE6VP5150N/GN and MRFE6VP5300N/GN power amplifiers, which Hart said are the industry’s first devices housed in over-molded plastic packaging to achieve better than 65:1 VSWR.

“Freescale has deployed millions of RF power transistors in plastic packages for macrocell base stations in the cellular market,” he said. “We are now extending our RF power amplifier packaging expertise to industrial applications. The new MRFE6VP5150 and MRFE6VP5300 devices are the first members of a plastic package product portfolio engineered for optimal ruggedness, and are an expansion of our highly successful MRFE6VP61K25 family.”

The new RF Power Tool system is designed to simplify the development of RF power applications and help customers create new and differentiated RF power solutions. Hart said the system minimizes the size, cost, and complexity of RF lab equipment needed for application development by integrating multiple RF bench tool capabilities into a single box, reducing the need for a full bench of RF evaluation equipment that could cost $500,000.

The system allows users to define RF conditions for their applications and provides easy system validation and real-time performance monitoring and data logging. The tool offers temperature sensing, voltage sensing, and power detection.

The generator operates from 1 MHz to 2.5 GHz in 1-Hz steps; level is adjustable in 0.5-dB steps. RF power measurement (forward and reflected) capability extends from 1 mW to 2 kW.

The RF Power Tool System will be available in August for $5,000.

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