Enabling 4G LTE platform providers and OEMs to save time and money by creating a single-SKU design for global markets, the UltraCMOS Global 1 reconfigurable RF front end (RFFE) has been introduced by Peregrine Semiconductor. The company have claimed that this is the industry’s first reconfigurable RFFE system.
A truly reconfigurable RFFE is required to support over 40 frequency bands and a more than 5,000-fold increase in the number of possible operating states. Only a CMOS process can offer this level of reconfigurability. Comprised of a multimode multiband (MMMB) power amplifier (PA), a post-PA switch, an antenna switch and an antenna tuner, the Global 1 system is based on Peregrine’s UltraCMOS 10 technology platform (which leverages 25 years of RF expertise with more than 2bn RF SOI units shipped). Additionally, the RFFE system incorporates the industry’s first LTE CMOS PA which offers the same raw performance as the leading gallium arsenide (GaAs) PAs and a 33% efficiency increase over other CMOS PAs.
The Global 1 RFFE provides the scalability to easily support higher band counts through low-loss switching and tunability on a single chip. It also features high isolation to solve interoperability issues, PA performance equivalent to GaAs and simple, digitally-controlled adaptation across modes and bands. The UltraCMOS Global 1 system’s reconfigurable RFFE delivers: 3-path MMMB PA, post-PA switching, antenna switch and antenna tuner; common RFFE MIPI interface; and support for envelope tracking.
Jim Cable, CEO, Peregrine Semiconductor, comments: “Creating a global, single-SKU design for LTE devices is currently the toughest, unmet challenge in RF. Peregrine was founded with a vision for integration, and, after shipping 2 billion switches and tuners, we are proud to announce a truly integrated RF front-end system that enables a single, global SKU.”
“For years RF engineers have been looking for an integrated, CMOS RF front-end offering that performs as well as GaAs for mobile devices. Peregrine’s UltraCMOS technology has demonstrated GaAs-level efficiency performance at high power, which could be a game-changer,” commented Joe Madden, Founder and Principal Analyst, Mobile Experts.
The UltraCMOS Global 1 system will complete platform integration in 2014 and will be in volume production in late 2015.