Nujira Ltd, considered the market leader in Envelope Tracking (ET) technology, has unveiled its newest Coolteq.L ET power supply modulator chip for LTE handsets. According to Nujira the NCT-L1300 is able to deliver the best ET modulator performance on the market across all key metrics: system efficiency, noise, bandwidth, linearity and RF output power. The new chip is now being geared up for volume production to support 4G smartphone shipments in 2014.
The NCT-L1300 has exceeded a significant efficiency milestone by delivering power conversion efficiencies in excess of 80%, as a result the new chip enables smartphone vendors to achieve 50% system efficiency (PA & ET) with LTE signals.
NCT-L1300 highlights: High bandwidth, high accuracy tracking over a wide voltage swing range of 0.5-4.5V; Nujira’s precise tracking and patented ISOGAIN technique linearizes the PA, demonstrating adjacent channel performance better than -50 dBc without modem assistance or Digital PreDistortion; the device supports PA output powers of up to 29 dBm, enabling full power LTE transmissions and eliminating the need for Maximum Power Reduction (MPR) – even for advanced RF Front End architectures featuring MIMO, Carrier Aggregation and Antenna Tuning; ultra low noise performance: -135 dBm/Hz; support for 20 MHz LTE channels, with minimal impact on efficiency; fast mode switching and low standby power to support both TD-LTE and FD-LTE waveforms in ET mode and industry-standard interfaces, compatible with a wide range of LTE chipsets and RF PAs from leading vendors.
Commenting Tim Haynes, CEO of Nujira said: “The NCT-L1300 has been designed to extend battery life, boost network coverage and data rates, and deliver a true 4G experience to users. The chip is a culmination of everything we have been working on for more than a decade. Breaking the 50% system efficiency barrier is a watershed and our new chip puts us in prime position to support OEMs in creating 4G products that meet users’ expectations. With samples available next month we are now gearing up for a very rapid production ramp in 2014, when we expect to see ET technology heading towards a 100% attach rate in LTE smartphones.”
Reducing the power consumption of PAs is one of the key challenges facing 3G and 4G smartphone OEMs as demand for higher data rates continues to drive network standards. The improved spectral efficiency of the 4G LTE standard enables higher data bandwidth, but comes at the price of reduced energy efficiency in the RF PA. Further penalties come from an increase in the average RF power transmitted from the handset, and the need to support an increasing number of frequency bands in the phone to support global roaming. Pioneered by Nujira over the last 11 years, ET has emerged as the preferred PA architecture to tackle the significant performance issues in the RF front end.
In order to enable maximum power savings the NCT-L1300 supports both Envelope Tracking and, at low output power levels, Average Power Tracking modes. In ET mode, the high performance NCT-L1300 provides low noise, high bandwidth tracking of a fast analog input signal from the modem chipset, in line with OpenET Alliance and MIPI Alliance specifications, and compatible with a wide range of 4G chipsets. At lower power levels, the NCT-L1300 can be switched into slow tracking APT mode, where the output voltage is set by a new low power, high precision DAC integrated into the NCT-L1300.
The chip also features an advanced intelligent MIPI RF Front End (RFFE) configuration and control interface for minimal programming overhead, supporting triggered and/or delayed writes, single-byte mode switching, and multiple mode configurations.
The NCT-L1300 is packaged in a low-profile Wafer-Level Chip Scale Package, and will be sampling to lead customers in June.