+44 (0)24 7671 8970
More publications     •     Advertise with us     •     Contact us
News Article

Peregrine RF front-end system takes on GaAs

The firm's Global 1 is claimed to be the first silicon based CMOS power amplifier to deliver gallium arsenide level performance for LTE devices
Peregrine Semiconductor, founder of RF SOI, is publicising the UltraCMOS Global 1, which the company says is the first reconfigurable RF front end (RFFE).

For the first time, 4G LTE platform providers and OEMs will be able to save time and money by creating a single SKU (stock keeping unit) design for global markets.

To support over forty frequency bands and a more than 5,000  fold increase in the number of possible operating states, a truly reconfigurable RFFE is now a requirement.

Peregrine says this level of reconfigurability is only feasible with a CMOS process.

Global 1 ’s entire system  -  multimode, multiband (MMMB) power amplifier (PA) ; post - PA switch, antenna switch, and antenna tuner - is based on Peregrine’s UltraCMOS 10 technology platform.

This platform leverages twenty five years of RF expertise with proven performance demonstrated by more than two billion RF SOI units shipped.

Also, Global 1 features the industry’s first LTE CMOS PA with the same raw performance as the leading GaAs PAs and has a 33 percent efficiency increase over other CMOS PAs.

“For years RF engineers have been looking for an integrated, CMOS RF front - end offering that performs as well as GaAs for mobile devices,” says Joe Madden, founder and principal analyst at Mobile Experts.

“Peregrine’s UltraCMOS technology has demonstrated GaAs - level efficiency performance at high power, which could be a game - changer.”

Global 1 RFFE System

On a single chip, Peregrine’s Global 1 RFFE system delivers the scalability to easily support higher band counts through low - loss switching and tuneability high isolation to solve interoperability issues; simple, digitally - controlled adaptation across mode sand bands and, most importantly, PA performance equivalent to GaAs.

Peregrine’s UltraCMOS Global 1, the first reconfigurable RFFE system, includes a multimode, multiband power amplifier, post - PA switch, antenna switch and antenna tuner on a single chip

The UltraCMOS Global 1 system’s reconfigurable RFFE delivers:

• 3 - path MMMB PA, post - PA switching, antenna switch and antenna tuner

• Support for envelope tracking

• Common RFFE MIPI interface

“Creating a global, single-SKU design for LTE devices is currently the toughest, unmet challenge in RF,” says Jim Cable, CEO at Peregrine Semiconductor.Peregrine was founded with a vision for integration, and, after shipping billion switches and tuners, we are proud to announce a truly integrated RF front -end system that enables a single, global SKU.”

UltraCMOS Global 1 PA Performance

Before now no vendor has been able to deliver GaAs - level PA performance in a CMOS PA, which prevented CMOS PAs from competing in the performance - driven LTE handset market.

The Global 1 system integrates Peregrine’s established, best - in - class RF switches and tuners seamlessly with the first CMOS PA to match the performance of GaAs PAs.

This level of performance is reached without enhancements from envelope tracking or digital predistortion, which is often used when benchmarking CMOS PAs with GaAs PAs.

A standard industry benchmark for PA performance is PAE (power - added efficiency) using a WCDMA (voice) waveform at an ACLR (adjacent channel leakage ratio) of - 38 dBc. Under these conditions, the performance of the UltraCMOS Global 1 PA approaches 50 percent PAE.

This is on par with the leading GaAs PAs and exceeds the performance of other CMOS PAs by 10 percentage points, which represents a 33 percent efficiency increase. Further, the UltraCMOS Global 1 PA maintains GaAs - equivalent PAE for LTE waveforms with varying resource - block allocations.

The UltraCMOS Global 1 power amplifier (PA) is the industry’s first to match GaAs performance and exceed the performance of existing CMOS PAs by 10 percentage points, which represents a 33 - percent efficiency increase

While the UltraCMOS Global 1 PA reaches GaAs - competitive performance levels without the use of envelope tracking, the system natively supports all major envelope tracking solutions currently on the market. The PAE at saturated power (PSAT) provides a good indication on what PAE is possible using an envelope tracking odulator, however, the efficiency enhancements that envelope tracking brings are very band specific.

With an envelope tracker, the system efficiency of UltraCMOS Global 1 typically increases 10 percent age points, depending on band, Everyone According to Mobile Experts, the RFFE market is projected to grow from $6.1 billion in 2013 to $12.2 billion in 2018.

Much of this growth stems from demand in the LTE market and the impact the RFFE has on the overall performance in mobile devices. The benefits of Global 1 extend far beyond RF engineers to affect the entire wireless ecosystem:

• Platform providers can develop a single reference platform, reducing reference design development costs and validation time

• OEMs can design a single global SKU, cutting R&D costs, accelerating time to market, streamlining supply chains and improving inventory management.

• Consumers can enjoy longer battery life, better reception, faster data rates and wider roaming range.

• Wireless operators can reduce capital investments in their network with improved RFFE performance , resulting in better coverage and reductions in dropped calls.

UltraCMOS Global 1 Availability

The UltraCMOS Global 1 PA will be demonstrated by appointment at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Feb 24th to 27th in Hospitality Suite Meeting Room 2A20MR.

The UltraCMOS Global 1 system will complete platform integration in 2014 and will be in volume production in late 2015.

Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the Compound Semiconductor Magazine, the Compound Semiconductor Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.

Please subscribe me to:


You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in: