Peregrine Semiconductor expands products into both ends of the frequency spectrum

Peregrine Semiconductor is expanding its integrated product portfolio into DC and X-band frequencies.  Peregrine has introduced two new integrated products—a True DC switch and an X-band core chip. Built on Peregrine’s UltraCMOS technology, both products integrate RF, digital and analogue components onto a single chip.

While integration has traditionally offered high-volume markets the benefit of lower cost, Peregrine uses intelligent integration to offer performance advantages in high-performance markets such as: configurability, flexibility, reliability, repeatability, ease-of-use, a reduced form factor and enhanced performance. 

“From integrated switches to Global 1, Peregrine has introduced a broad range of industry-leading integrated products and technologies over our more than 25-year history,” says Duncan Pilgrim, Peregrine’s vice president of marketing. “Today, we continue that legacy of innovative integration with two new ground-breaking products that include RF, digital and analogue components on a single die. Our UltraCMOS technology enables this level of integration and will enable our customers to maximize their resources, simplify their designs and focus on delivering high-quality and high-performance products to their customers.”

At the lower end of the frequency spectrum, Peregrine has unveiled the industry’s first and only RF integrated switch to achieve true DC capability. With a wide frequency range of 0 Hz to 8000 MHz, the UltraCMOS True DC switch (PE42020) effectively operates in a previously unobtainable portion of the frequency spectrum. This frequency expansion is paramount to markets that rely on accuracy and precision, such as test and measurement. The True DC SPDT switch features high power handling, 30 dBm at 0 Hz and 36 dBm at 8 GHz, and maintains excellent RF performance and linearity from DC through 8000 MHz. Moreover, it can switch DC and AC peak voltages in the range of +10V to -10V at currents of up to 80 mA, a first for this kind of product. 

According to Peregrine a unique advantage of the True DC switch is efficient switching time. While low-frequency operation typically requires a slow switching time, the True DC switch uses advanced circuitry to remove this dependence, resulting in a 10 microsecond switching time, and a 15 microsecond settling time which is critical for test-and-measurement applications.

The PE42020 features high-linearity (IIP3) performance of 63 dBm, and high port-to-port isolation of 37 dB @ 6 GHz. It supports standard +1.8V and +3.3V control logic and operates over a temperature range of -40 to +85 degrees centigrade. The True DC switch also supports 1000V HBM ESD tolerance and is supplied in a compact 20-lead 4×4 mm QFN plastic package.

At the higher end of the frequency spectrum, Peregrine has introduced the industry’s first integrated X-band, CMOS core chip to utilize MMIC (monolithic microwave integrated circuit) design techniques, enabling highly accurate signal control with minimal power loss.  MMIC design techniques, such as Lange couplers, have only been used by III-V technologies. The use of these passive techniques on silicon has always presented a challenge due to silicon’s lossy nature at higher frequencies. Peregrine solves this challenge by using an UltraCMOS sapphire substrate—a near-perfect insulating substrate that naturally lends itself to integration. With this X-band core chip, Peregrine combines standard CMOS design with passive MMIC circuitry for a truly intelligent approach to integration at microwave frequencies.

The X-band segment of the frequency spectrum is used by many modern satellite and radar systems, including synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and phased-array radar. Applications include weather monitoring, air traffic control, defense tracking and earth observation. Peregrine’s integrated chips offer a significantly reduced form factor delivering a distinct advantage within these systems that are tightly packaged within a small physical area. Additionally, Peregrine’s UltraCMOS technology provides the high degree of reliability demanded by these critical applications.



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