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World's Smallest Quad-Band, EDGE-Capable Power Amplifier Module
Posted: 24-Feb-2004 [Source: RF Micro Devices]

[RF Micro Devices announces the smallest quad-band, EDGE-capable power amplifer available for use across multiple handsets.]

Greensboro, NC -- RF Micro Devices, Inc., a leading provider of proprietary radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) for wireless communications applications, today announced it has begun production shipments of the world's smallest quad-band, EDGE-capable power amplifier module to a top-tier handset manufacturer.

RFMD anticipates broad adoption of this PA module across numerous handset platforms, and the module is expected to be one of the Company's highest volume products. Production shipments are expected to quickly reach a multimillion dollar level in the first half of the calendar year.

The highly integrated 30-square millimeter quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE (GSM850/GSM900/DCS/PCS) power amplifier module leverages innovations in low-cost laminate substrate packaging technology and GaAs HBT integration to deliver unmatched levels of function and performance, as well as a 75-percent reduction in footprint, versus the prior-generation component. The dramatic reduction in size saves valuable customer board space and enables the integration of additional features and functionality in EDGE handsets. The module also includes integrated power detection, eliminating the need for an external ceramic coupler, detector diodes and several passive components.

Eric Creviston, corporate vice president of wireless products at RF Micro Devices, said, "At a footprint of only 30-square millimeters and a height of just 1.5 millimeters, this is the smallest and most technologically advanced quad-band, EDGE-capable power amplifier available today, and we are pleased to announce production shipments have begun to a top-tier handset manufacturer for use across multiple handsets. By designing, developing and quickly ramping production of innovative, highly integrated power amplifier solutions, we enable our customers to bring next-generation, feature-rich handsets to market more quickly."

RFMD believes its quad-band PA provides the industry's best combination of performance, cost, size and functionality. The Company's ability to reduce the product footprint to an industry-leading 30-square millimeters is primarily attributable to RFMD's leadership in product engineering and design, and its experience in GaAs HBT technology, which it pioneered and drove to market dominance as the semiconductor process technology of choice for cellular power amplifiers. GaAs HBT has distinct advantages, such as power-added efficiency, over other process technologies in the manufacture of current- and next-generation PAs. Power-added efficiency is increasingly critical to handset manufacturers because it is a primary determinant of battery life. Handset manufacturers have placed increased emphasis on higher levels of power-added efficiency, driven by the introduction of new current-draining features, such as color screens, cameras and MP3 players, in next-generation handsets.

RFMD's quad-band PA module integrates all four bands into a single GaAs HBT die and utilizes an innovative, four-layer high density interconnect (HDI) laminate, which is lower cost than other multi-layer packages, such as ceramic, or LTCC, substrates. By offering a single, low-cost, space-saving and highly efficient quad-band device, RFMD simplifies customers' handset designs by enabling a single handset reference platform across all GSM-derivative air interface standards, including EDGE. GSM, GPRS and EDGE represent approximately two-thirds of the world's cellular markets. RFMD is the leading provider of GSM/GPRS/EDGE power amplifiers with a market share of more than 50 percent.


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