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National Introduces Tri Band GSM VCO Chip
Posted: 27-Jan-2004 [Source: National Semiconductor]

[National's new GSM VCO chip comes in a tiny package to help further miniaturize handsets.]

National Semiconductor Corporation (NYSE:NSM) today introduced the first member of a new family of stand-alone, monolithic voltage-controlled oscillators (VCOs) for mobile handsets. VCOs are critical blocks in transceiver designs and their accuracy impacts overall radio performance. This new family of monolithic VCOs complements National's other radio frequency (RF) products, which include market-leading PLLatinum(tm) phase-locked loops (PLLs) and single-chip circuits that integrate PLLs and VCOs.

The first member of this new family of VCOs, the LMX2604, is the industry's only stand-alone, monolithic VCO with electrical performance suitable for mobile handsets. Its footprint is 80 percent smaller than alternative solutions, such as a triple band VCO module. This 4mm by 4mm by 0.75mm IC allows system designers to save significant board space in mobile handsets and is 50 percent thinner than other solutions. In addition, because it is monolithic, the LMX2604 offers significant reliability benefits over competing multi-component module solutions. National plans to introduce additional members of the VCO family throughout 2004.

"National wrote the book on PLLs, and we continue to innovate in the RF field with the introduction of the world's first monolithic VCO suitable for mobile handsets. With manufacturers adding more and more consumer features to handsets, such as wireless connectivity and cameras, board space is at a premium. That's why a product like the LMX2604, which conserves significant board space inside the handset, offers so many advantages for system designers," said Paul Boyer, product marketing manager for National's RF product group. "This family of monolithic VCOs is the result of work we did in the development of a product family that integrates PLLs and VCOs onto a single chip. National's PLL+VCO solution, introduced last spring, is unique to the market and takes up 67 percent less board space than discrete solutions, also enabling significant space savings."

About the LMX2604

The LMX2604 is designed for the GSM and GPRS cellular markets and meets the demanding specifications of these standards. The LMX2604 provides on-chip RF VCOs for GSM at 880MHz to 915MHz, for DCS at 1710MHz to 1785MHz, and for PCS at 1850MHz to 1910MHz. It has low phase noise: -167 dBc/Hz at 20MHz offset in the GSM band, and -162 dBc/Hz at 20MHz offset in the DCS and PCS bands. High output power is +6 dBm in all bands, which is ideal for use with transmit closed-loop modulation. The LMX2604 also has low current consumption of 18 mA in GSM mode and 15 mA in DCS/PCS mode.

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