RF limiters provide alternative to GaAs PIN-diode limiters

8th April 2014
Posted By : Staff Reporter
RF limiters provide alternative to GaAs PIN-diode limiters

In Booth #512 at EDI CON 2014, Peregrine Semiconductor plans to debuts its new line of UltraCMOS RF power limiters, including PE45140 and PE45450 slated for release in May. The company claims that its power limiters represent the industry’s first turnkey, monolithic solutions to provide an alternative to discrete, PIN-diode limiters based on gallium arsenide (GaAs). UltraCMOS power limiters deliver simple, repeatable and reliable protection suitable for test-and-measurement, LMR, wireless-infrastructure, military and radar systems.

“Peregrine makes best-in-class RF products, and we are pleased to extend that heritage into the new category of power limiters announced at EDI CON today,” says Duncan Pilgrim, director of marketing at Peregrine. “Our customers continuously find that incumbent GaAs-based RF solutions do not rise to the challenge of new complexity in the market, and they are investing in Peregrine’s SOI technology as fast as we can develop new options like this.”

Turnkey Monolithic Architecture Delivers Unprecedented Benefits

On a chip eight times smaller than the board space required by discrete, PIN-diode solutions, Peregrine’s new power limiters provide a 10-100X improvement in response and recovery time; and deliver greater than 40 dB improvement in linearity (IP3); offer a 20X improvement in ESD (electrostatic discharge) protection.

Of particular interest to RF designers, Peregrine’s power limiters save PCB space with a small form factor; reduce BoM (bill of materials) by eliminating the need for extra components; and improve time to market by reducing in-design time and costs. They also beat existing solutions in RF performance, including higher linearity to eliminate signal distortion, high ESD to ensure high reliability, wide bandwidth to enable design flexibility and fast response and recovery times to ensure robust protection of power-sensitive components. Finally, because Peregrine’s power limiters are based on UltraCMOS instead of GaAs, they can be closely integrated with other UltraCMOS RF components.

Several Industries Require Repeatable and Reliable Power Protection

Peregrine’s UltraCMOS power limiters can protect:

  • RF ports in test-and-measurement equipment
  • RF front ends and low-noise amplifiers (LNAs) in LMRs
  • RF receivers in wireless-infrastructure equipment
  • Tactical radio receivers from intentional jammers in military warfare
  • Transceiver (TRX) modules in radar systems

In order to achieve repeatable and reliable power protection, customers currently face challenges because it takes so long to design and validate PIN-diode power-limiter circuits and the multiple external components this architecture requires. With Peregrine’s new, all-in-one architecture, customers will be able to significantly reduce time to market and cost.

On display at EDI CON Booth #512, Peregrine plans to release the first two of its UltraCMOS power limiters in May 2014:

  • The PE45140 is a 20 MHz - 2GHz, 5 W power limiter designed for professional portable and mobile radios, such as tactical radios and LMRs, as well as HF, VHF, UHF, L-band radar transceivers.
  • The PE45450 is a 9KHz - 6GHz, 5 W power limiter designed for test-and-measurement systems, L/S/C-band radar transceivers, counter-measure receivers and wireless receivers.

Both power limiters feature an adjustable limiting threshold, unbiased power limiting and operation in two modes – power limiting or power reflecting. 


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