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GaAs Competes With Peregrine SOI Products For RF

The firm says incumbent gallium arsenide-based RF solutions do not rise to the challenge of new complexity in the telecoms market


Peregrine Semiconductor, a pioneer of SOI and advanced RF solutions, is debuting its new line of UltraCMOS based RF power limiters, including PE45140 and PE45450 slated for release in May.

Peregrine’s Silicon on  Insulator (SOI) power limiters represent turnkey, monolithic solutions to provide an alternative to discrete, PIN-diode limiters based on GaAs.

The firm says its UltraCMOS power limiters deliver simple, repeatable and reliable protection ideal for test-and-measurement, land-mobile-radio (LMR), wireless-infrastructure, military and radar systems.

“Peregrine makes best-in-class RF products, and we are pleased to extend that heritage into the new category of power limiters announced at EDI CON today," says Duncan Pilgrim, director of marketing at Peregrine. “Our customers continuously find that incumbent GaAs-based RF solutions do not rise to the challenge of new complexity in the market, and they are investing in Peregrine’s SOI technology as fast as we can develop new options like this."

Turnkey Monolithic Architecture Delivers Benefits

On a chip claimed to be eight times smaller than the board space required by discrete, PIN-diode solutions, Peregrine’s new power limiters are claimed to provide a ten to one hundred times improvement in response and recovery time. The company also says they deliver greater than 40 dB improvement in linearity (IP3) and offer a twenty times improvement in ESD (electrostatic discharge) protection.

Of particular interest to RF designers, Peregrine’s power limiters can save PCB space with a small form factor, reduce BoM (bill of materials) by eliminating the need for extra components and improve time to market by reducing in-design time and costs.

Peregrine also says they beat existing solutions in RF performance, including higher linearity to eliminate signal distortion, high ESD to ensure high reliability, wide bandwidth to enable design flexibility and fast response and recovery times to ensure robust protection of power-sensitive components.

Finally, because Peregrine’s power limiters are based on UltraCMOS instead of GaAs, they can be closely integrated with other UltraCMOS RF components.

The table below illustrates how Peregrine’s new UltraCMOS power limiters compare to GaAs-based PIN-diodes.

 

Peregrine’s UltraCMOS power limiters can protect:

    RF ports in test-and-measurement equipment

    RF front ends and low-noise amplifiers (LNAs) in LMRs

    RF receivers in wireless-infrastructure equipment

    Tactical radio receivers from intentional jammers in military warfare

    Transceiver (TRX) modules in radar systems

In order to achieve repeatable and reliable power protection, customers currently face challenges because it takes so long to design and validate PIN-diode power-limiter circuits and the multiple external components this architecture requires.

With Peregrine’s new, all-in-one architecture, customers should be able to significantly reduce time to market and cost.

Availability

On display at EDI CON Booth #512, Peregrine plans to release the first two of its UltraCMOS power limiters in May 2014:

    The PE45140 is a 20 MHz - 2GHz, 50 W power limiter designed for professional portable and mobile radios, such as tactical radios and LMRs, as well as HF, VHF, UHF, L-band radar transceivers.

    The PE45450 is a 9KHz - 6GHz, 50 W power limiter designed for test-and-measurement systems, L/S/C-band radar transceivers, counter-measure receivers and wireless receivers.

Both power limiters feature an adjustable limiting threshold, unbiased power limiting and operation in two modes - power limiting or power reflecting.





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