Micros

Renesas expands satellite communications portfolio

16th November 2021
Louis Regnier

New F61 ICs deliver low-power, high-integration for phased array antennas in satcom, radar, and point-to-point communications systems

Renesas, a supplier of advanced semiconductor solutions, has expanded its portfolio of mmWave LNAs and Tx BFICs with the introduction of three new dual-beam active beamforming ICs:

  • F6121 for Ku-band Satcom
  • F6122 for Ka-band Satcom and
  • F6123 for Ku-band radar and line-of-sight communications

Featuring best-in-class power consumption, noise figure, compact size and ease of integration, these new ICs are a critical enabler of next-generation, low-latency electronically steered antennas for in-flight connectivity (IFC), maritime, satcom-on-the-move, and low earth orbit (LEO) ground terminals.

The new F61xx Rx devices are the first commercial products to feature dual-beam capability for make-before-break or simultaneous multi-satellite, multi-orbit operation over the full Ku and Ka Satcom bands. The F61xx offers OEMs the flexibility of LNA selection and placement for improved noise figure and system G/T performance. Taking advantage of these features, the ICs have already been designed-in by major satcom solution providers and OEMs for half- and full-duplex systems, with anticipated production ramps starting in 2022.

“Our customers face three main challenges as they migrate from mechanical antennas to electronically steered antennas: Thermal management, physical integration and affordability,” said Naveen Yanduru, Vice President of RF Communications Product Division at Renesas. “The new dual-beam F61 devices deliver the cost-effective, power-efficient, low noise and compact size combination the industry needs for next-generation low-latency Satcom, radar and communications systems that will connect more people in more places.”

About the New Satcom Beamforming ICs

The second generation of F61xx dual-beam beamforming ICs address the thermal, integration, and cost challenges designers face as they transition from bulky mechanically steered antennas to the lower weight and leaner profile active electronically scanned array antennas (AESAs). The new devices deliver reduced power consumption, increased on-chip beam-state memory, and dual-beam operation (configurable for single beam with 40 percent power savings), as well as highly improved RF performance. They complement the well-established sub-6 GHz RFIC portfolio and the recent 5G mmWave product lines.

The Satcom beamformer ICs are also part of Renesas’ new Winning Combination for a Ku-Band Satcom Communications System, which also includes the company’s power management and timing products. Renesas offers over 250 Winning Combinations featuring complementary analog, power, timing devices and embedded processing to provide an easy-to-use architecture, simplify the design process and significantly reduce design risk for customers in a wide variety of applications.

Key Features of the F61 devices Include:

  • Flexibility to support dual/single-beam, full/half-duplex, single/dual-polarisation and 1D and 2D array architectures with best-in-class power consumption and cascaded noise figure performance
  • Highly compact footprint with < 4% panel area utilisation on Ku λ/2 grid and relaxed pitch FC-BGA package for reduced integration complexity and improved RF isolation
  • Fast and flexible digital interface with on-chip beam-state memory for low latency antenna beam switching in under 100ns

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