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Peregrine SOI UltraCMOS PA Matches GaAs Performance

The firm's RF Silicon On Insulator substrates are claimed to deliver a 50-percent performance improvement over similar solutions
Peregrine Semiconductor announced the Greater China debut of UltraCMOS Global 1, a reconfigurable RF front-end (RFFE) system, at EDI CON 2014. By integrating all the components of the RFFE on a single chip, UltraCMOS Global 1 delivers one platform design -  a single, global SKU -  that operates in all regions worldwide.

Peregrine says the system includes the industry’s first LTE CMOS power amplifier (PA) to meet the performance of gallium arsenide (GaAs) technology. The UltraCMOS Global 1 PA offers a high-band PA path that supports China’s recently licensed TDD-LTE technology networks.

UltraCMOS Global 1 Is a Reconfigurable System

The rapidly growing LTE device market has put unprecedented demands on the performance of the RFFE. To support more than forty frequency bands and a more than 5,000-fold increase in the number of possible operating states, a reconfigurable and tuneable RFFE is now an industry requirement.

Peregrine’s UltraCMOS Global 1 provides digitally controlled adaptation across modes and bands, high isolation to solve interoperability issues and scalability to easily support higher band counts with low-loss switching and tuneability.

This level of reconfigurability is available on Peregrine’s UltraCMOS 10 technology platform, an advanced CMOS process that uses RF SOI (Silicon On Insulator)  substrates and delivers a 50-percent performance improvement over comparable solutions. Global 1 is fabricated on this advanced-technology platform

On a single chip, Global 1 integrates Peregrine’s RF switches and tuners with a CMOS PA.

The UltraCMOS Global 1 RFFE system has a  3-path MMMB PA, post-PA switch, antenna switch and antenna tuner. It also supports envelope tracking and has a common RFFE MIPI interface.

UltraCMOS Global 1 can benefit the entire wireless ecosystem. Platform providers and OEMs can accelerate their time to market by creating a single platform design for global markets.

Consumers can enjoy longer battery life, better reception, faster data rates and wider roaming range. Finally, wireless operators can reduce capital investments in their network with improved RFFE performance, resulting in better coverage and reductions in dropped calls.

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

UltraCMOS Global 1 PA Delivers Several Performance Advantages

Using a WCDMA (voice) waveform at an ACLR (adjacent channel leakage ratio) of -38 dBc, the performance of the UltraCMOS Global 1 PA approaches 50-percent PAE (power-added efficiency).

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

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.

“Peregrine Semiconductor’s UltraCMOS Global 1 PA is a market disrupter that could hasten a transition of the PA front-end market from GaAs-based to CMOS," says Christopher Taylor, director of RF and Wireless Components at Strategy Analytics. “In a demonstration at Mobile World Congress 2014, Peregrine’s UltraCMOS Global 1 PA apparently matched the performance of a leading-edge GaAs PA at all power levels, and on top of this, Peregrine’s PA can offer more flexibility through the integration capabilities of CMOS."



UltraCMOS Global 1 Supports TDD-LTE Networks

China’s recently licensed TDD-LTE networks have increased demand for bands in the 2.3 to 2.7 GHz frequency range. The UltraCMOS Global 1 PA offers a high-band PA path that supports this frequency range.

“Peregrine is committed to the Greater China market," says Jim Cable, CEO at Peregrine Semiconductor. “To better serve our customers, we recently expanded our China office to include new lab facilities and additional technical resources. Today, at EDI CON, we introduce UltraCMOS Global 1 as a RFFE solution for TDD-LTE network demands."



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