ICs optimise antenna efficiency in 4G devices

11th June 2014
Staff Reporter

The introduction of a series of antenna tuning ICs signals an expansion of Infineon's IC solutions for the RF front end. Instrumental in improving end user experience in 4G smartphones and tablets, the BGA1xGN10 ICs optimise antenna characteristics to allow for highest data rate operation in relevant LTE bands.

In addition, they are enabling further reduction of current consumption resulting in longer stand-by and operational hours of such devices. The BGA1xGN10 ICs are provided in the smallest packages available on the market, which is critical for the space limited applications in the latest generation of smartphones and other portable devices.

The antenna tuning devices based on Infineon’s RF CMOS switch technology allows the development of antennas in smartphones of reduced size and broader frequency range. Innovative features enable improved impedance matching for a single antenna across a wide frequency range, and therefore reduce power stress on the transmitter side and increase sensitivity on the receiver side. They are designed for high ruggedness, low parasitics and highest linearity in order to withstand critical mismatch conditions at the antenna. The new tuning ICs are key to optimize antenna efficiency in relevant LTE bands. Improved antenna efficiency directly translates into better signal quality and fastest data transmission. All devices offer generic GPIO interfaces for smooth antenna control and system integration.

"Introducing the new family of antenna tuning solutions, Infineon broadens its footprint and product portfolio in the RF front-end for smart phone applications,” stated Philipp Schierstaedt, Vice President and General Manager of the Business Unit RF & Protection Devices at Infineon Technologies. “Combined with our offering on LNAs, protection ICs and antenna switches the new antenna tuning solutions will help our customers to develop smartphones and other related products with improved end user experience on behalf of reception quality, battery lifetime and reliability."

The new antenna aperture tuning solutions are derived from the same high performance 130nm RF CMOS process from Infineon that is being deployed by the RF frontend switches and benefit from its high volume production scale. The new family of antenna aperture tuning switches are available with different switch configurations: BGSA12GN10 SPDT, BGSA13GN10 SP3T and BGSA14GN10 SP4T.

All products are shipped in a ROHS compliant plastic package with dimensions of only 1.5mm x 1.1mm which is 60 percent smaller in size compared to state-of-the-art CSP type devices on the market. Dimension is a critical issue as smartphones are crammed with more and more features and multiple LTE bands while antenna and PCB space remains very limited.

Infineon produces the new antenna tuning ICs on the same high volume production lines being used for other RF products. All parts comply with final 100 percent electrical test before they move to tape & reel process and not prone to ball cracks due to standard SMD mounting technologies being applied.

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