Friday, March 13, 2009

Super Broadband Devices

There seems to be a trend these days in designing very broadband devices that will operate over many communications bands so a single device can be used in many applications. Triquint recently developed their PowerBand family of amplifiers that feature high power (10-50 W) and good efficiency (typically 45-50%) over a wide band from 500 MHz to 3 GHz with a single device. They state that 2 to 4 Powerband devices can replace a typical line up of 6 to 12 devices. The have plans to extend the range of these devices to 6 GHz and improve the power levels by leveraging LDMOS and GaN technology (I believe the current devices are GaAs based).

Yesterday Analog Devices released a 14 bit RF digital to analog converter (DAC) that uses direct digital synthesis to convert signals from DC to 3.6 GHz. One device can handle up to 72 QAM channels with sample rates up to 2500 MPSP which is very impressive performance. It will enable wireless communications designers to use a single transmit-DAC architecture for multiple communications standards while eliminating an off-chip mixer and low-pass filter.

These 2 devices can pretty much make up a complete transmit chain that operates at about any frequency currently used for communications systems (maybe they can partner up). What other very broadband devices have you seen recently developed?

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