RF gain blocks, mixers and modulator announced by TI

12th June 2014
Nat Bowers

Texas Instruments is expanding its RF portfolio with the addition of seven high-performance RF gain blocks, three down-converting mixers and a complex modulator. According to the manufacturer, these RF building blocks provide the industry’s best combination of power and performance.

The 3.3 and 5V RF gain block family offers a unique combination of broad frequency range, small footprint, high integration, high output 3rd intercept point (OIP3) and low power consumption to maximise design flexibility. The versatile devices can be used in many industrial, communications and defence applications, such as smart meters, test and measurement, wireless base stations, RF backhaul, repeaters, and phased-array radar.

The TRF37x7x family provides 10dB higher OIP3 than comparable 3.3V RF gain blocks with an integrated power down, enabling the devices to be used in a wide variety of application circuits. A 2x2mm QFN package saves board space while an integrated power down eliminates need for an external switch, which reduces bill of materials cost and saves board space. Broadband matched across a wide operational range from 1MHz to 6GHz enables system designers to use the same gain block at RF and IF frequencies. The family is available in 3.3 and 5V supply options in 12, 15, 18 and 20dB gains. The 3.3V gain blocks use only 180mW of power and the 5V devices use 400mW to increase efficiency.

The 5V devices are available now for $0.95 (USD) each in 1,000 unit quantities, and evaluation modules (EVMs) are available for purchase today for $49 (USD). The 3.3V gain blocks will be in volume production in July 2014 priced at $0.90 (USD) each in 1,000 unit quantities, and EVMs will be available for purchase later this month.

High performance, multi-channel receiver applications value high linearity, gain and wide tuning flexibility at the lowest power consumption. The dual-channel down-converting mixer family matches the performance of existing solutions at half the power consumption. The mixers can be used in diversity receive, multi-antenna and high-performance applications, such as phased-array radar, wireless base stations, RF backhaul and repeaters and test and measurement.

The TRF37x32 family supports 300-3800MHz, providing pin-compatible coverage of frequently used bands, such as L-band and 3GPP cellular. It provides 29dBm input 3rd order intercept point (IIP3), 10dB gain and 9.5dB noise figure in high-performance receiver applications. The mixers use only 500mW of power per channel, providing lower operational and cooling costs.

The down-converting mixer family will be available in 3Q 2014 in a 5x5mm QFN package priced from $9.98 (USD) each in 1,000 unit quantities. EVMs will also be available for $199 (USD).

High-performance transmitters require an optimised combination of power, linearity, phase noise and frequency range. The TRF3722 complex modulator provides the best combination of these features and can be paired with the down-converting mixers in high-performance applications, such as phased-array radar, wireless base stations, RF backhaul and repeaters and test and measurement.

The modulator integrates a PLL/VCO with a wide 256-4100MHz tuning range and a -141dBc/Hz phase noise at 1MHz offset, enabling it to meet the requirements of all 3GPP cellular bands. It provides 30dBm OIP3 to support the spectral mask requirements of the most demanding communication systems and uses just 1.2W of power in typical applications and 0.9W in low-power mode.

The TRF3722 up-converting complex modulator will be available later this month in a 7x7mm QFN package for $9.50 (USD) in 1,000-unit quantities. An EVM will be available to purchase in June for $199 (USD).

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