Monday, November 10, 2008

New Tunable Capacitor Technology for Mobile-TV

Speaking of mobile-TV (see David's entry below), Peregrine Semiconductor has developed a new digitally tunable capacitor (DTC) technology using their UltraCMOS process. Mobile-TV antennas must be able to receive signals efficiently over the frequency range of 470 to 862 MHz, so using a traditional passive internal antenna can result in a VSWR of 6:1 across the band causing reduced sensitivity. But using a DTC to change the antenna match across the band can maintain a VSWR of better than 2:1. In addition, this DTC technology can withstand the GSM transmitted power levels without affecting the mobile-TV signal integrity.

The initial design is for 5 bits of resolution or 32 tuning states and a tuning ratio of close to 5:1 with a Q factor of 40. Because it is designed using the UltraCMOS process, there is flexibility to scale the power handling capability, integrate digital and analog functions as well as other RF active/passive circuitry. This gives very good flexibility and new circuits can be designed quickly to get to market ahead of the competition.

I see several new and exciting tunable technologies coming in the near future and will share them as they are released. Microwave Journal has an exclusive first look into the Peregrine technology in our Nov issue.

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