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RF synthesizers' output frequency above 3GHz

Posted: 24 May 2006     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:STMicro  RF synthesizers  STW81101  STW81102 

STMicroelectronics has developed integrated RF synthesizers—the STW81101 and STW81102—with embedded voltage-controlled oscillators (VCO). These synthesizers are touted to be the only single-chip devices with available output frequency above 3GHz.

According to the company, these synthesizers are targeted at radio transceiver applications and have the integrated phase-noise performance for single-chip RF Integer'N synthesizers. The measured values are 0.2° RMS at 1GHz, 0.5° RMS at 2GHz and 1.3° RMS at 4GHz with a frequency step of 200kHz.

Applications of the synthesizers include cellular base stations to satellite communications and CATV equipment.

The products are said to be enhanced by the dual digital interface, with the I2C protocol for connecting multiple devices, complemented with an SPI bus. Manufactured in STMicro's BiCMOS SiGe technology, these single-chip RF synthesizers are touted to surpass competing solutions in performance and reliability, while reducing the BOM and footprint by up to 60 per cent compared with a traditional discrete approach.

STMicro said that the RF synthesizers provide multi-band capabilities and unparalleled frequency coverage. The combination of embedded VCOs with automatic centre-frequency calibration and multiple output options allows the devices to operate in multiple bands over 750MHz to 4.65GHz. Instead of using a dedicated device for each frequency range, equipment suppliers can now fit any multi-band radio application, such as a quad-band base station transceiver, with a single synthesizer.

Pin-to-pin compatible with its predecessor (STW81100), the STW81101 and STW81102 synthesizers are supplied in QFN-28 lead-free packages. The evaluation kits include an evaluation board, the STWPLLSim software for PLL filter design and noise simulation, the programming GUI, and guidelines for application board design.

The STWPLLSim is an interactive tool for PLL design and optimisation of the RF synthesizers, starting from high-level parameters such as the loop bandwidth and the phase margin.

Evaluation kits and production devices will be available in May 2006. The STW81101 and STW81102 will be sold at Rs.135.33 ($3) in volume.

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