The technology innovation that is associated with the STeP5 release has driven demand from cellular handset manufacturers and global customers for UltraCMOS RFIC products to a record number of devices per week.
“UltraCMOS STeP5 process brings an unprecedented capability to our product design team,” stated Rodd Novak, chief marketing officer for Peregrine Semiconductor. “It has enabled us to develop RF switches that achieve industry leading results for combined linearity, insertion loss, isolation and power consumption, all monolithically integrated into the industry’s smallest footprint. STeP5 has also opened the door for future product categories for the RF Front-End,” he added. “And with the support of our robust supply chain and manufacturing foundries, we have achieved the fastest production ramp in Peregrine history.”
The 4G/LTE network has introduced significant challenges to the RF Front-End (RFFE) of the cellular handset, including a fragmented RF spectrum, which causes co-existence issues between bands and other standards such as connectivity (GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth). Lack of global frequency alignment has resulted in 28 LTE bands being identified in the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) mobile standards specification.
“One of the most difficult problems 4G and LTE handset designers face is the coexistence of multiple bands and the linearity needed to support operation without self-jamming,” commented Allen Nogee, research director with In-Stat covering the Wireless market segment. “The RF Front-End is bearing most of the design burden for performance of the RF signal. In fact, LTE’s spectral efficiency comes at the cost of increased linearity and power consumption. Peregrine’s new STeP5 UltraCMOS products appear to have hit the need right on the mark,” he added.
Peregrine’s latest family of high-throw-count RF Switches includes the PE426151, PE426152 and PE426153 SP10T devices, and the PE426821 and PE426851 SP8T devices with integrated MIPI, SPI or GPIO interface options. These new devices support 4G LTE RFFE linearity and insertion loss demands over all conditions.
The STeP5 RF Switches are now in high-volume production and samples are available to qualified customers.