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Avago’s VGA delivers best-in-class linearity

Leveraging the company’s proprietary 0.25 µm gallium arsenide enhancement-mode pHEMT process, the ALM-81224 VGA is a compact, low-power solution which simplifies design time.

Avago Technologies has unveiled a high-linearity variable gain amplifier (VGA) module for base transceiver station (BTS) applications.


The new small-footprint ALM-81224 VGA module replaces existing discrete solutions, providing significant board space savings and shortening design cycle time. Operating in a broad frequency band from 1450 to 2750 MHz, the module addresses cellular BTS automatic gain control (AGC) and temperature compensation circuitry applications.

The ALM-81224 VGA module’s best-in-class linearity performance provides the ability to distinguish between wanted and spurious signals that are closely spaced. Available in a compact 6.0 by 6.0 by 1.0 mm package, the module offers low current consumption of 383 mA. The module’s input is fully-matched to 50 Ω and output match can be tuned for optimal performance at a particular frequency band within the operation range, minimizing the need for external matching components and making the solution easy to use.

“With BTS manufacturers faced with the challenges of shortened design cycle time and board space constraints, our new VGA module addresses the need for an easy-to-use, compact solution that offers robust and reliable RF performance,” said James Wilson, director of marketing for wireless products at Avago.

The ALM-81224 module leverages the company’s proprietary 0.25 µm GaAs Enhancement-mode pHEMT process to achieve robust RF performance. It delivers high dynamic range of 38 dB under 0 to 3.3V control voltage. Using a single DC voltage input pin to achieve gain control, the module provides a high maximum gain of 23.8 dB typical.

Additional Product Features

The ALM-81224 has a high linearity at low bias current and a high linearity performance: +16.5 dBm at -65 dBc ACLR using dual-carrier W-CDMA input signal. The module has a low noise figure of 2 dB at maximum gain and 16 dB at minimum gain and a built-in attenuator with monotonic response.

U.S. Pricing and Availability

The ALM-81224 VGA module ships in a 24-pin MCOB package and is priced at $6.25 each in 10,000 piece quantities. Samples and production quantities are available now through the Avago direct sales channel and via worldwide distribution partners.
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