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One chip scores Bluetooth and Wi-Fi for Anadigics

As Apple brings Wi-Fi to the iPod, Anadigics puts Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on the same PA "“ and throws in a high-performance low noise amplifier for good measure.

Anadigics has raised the stakes for GaAs device integration, with a series of single-chip front ends for Wi-Fi and Bluetooth that it says is unparalleled by other PA makers.

Developments in BiFET processing at the company s Warren, New Jersey, site have squeezed a low-noise amplifier (LNA), RF and DC switches onto the PHEMT part of the GaAs die.

“This capability allows us to do something that no-one else can do to this level of performance,” said Dave Cresci, director of WLAN product marketing at Anadigics.

“To put this level of functionality into such a small single die ends up blowing a lot of people away.”

Anadigics is already in full production with its first series of Wi-Fi/Bluetooth BiFETs, the AWL6254, in volumes of millions of chips per month.

Its second series, just beginning its production ramp, offers the same functionality, but raises the output power level from 16 dBm to 18-21 dBm. The company expects this product range, comprising its AWL9230, 9231 and 9232 chips, to be in full production by the end of 2007.

Anadigics InGaP BiFET process reserves the HBT portion of these “front-end integrated chips” (FEICs) to function as the PA, which it sees as the optimal technology for this purpose.

These chips operate in the 2.4-2.5 GHz frequency band, making them well suited to the 802.11b, g and n Wi-Fi protocols, for applications including voice-over-IP. All the different FEICs come in 3 mm x 3 mm x 0.55 mm packages.

More than simply putting a lot of functions on one chip, Cresci claims Anadigics has integrated a “world class” LNA with a high power efficiency PA.

“We think this process is unique, certainly on this planet anyway, in the sense that we can provide the world class functionality of each component,” Cresci said.

“We re really not compromising by making this level of integration.”

Cresci says that Anadigics is already selling its FEICs to a number of “tier one” electronics customers for notebook PCs, smartphones and consumer electronics. With Apple having just announced that its ever-shrinking iPods will now also boast Wi-Fi capacity, it looks like Anadigics is on the right track.

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