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SoC platform forays into digital terrestrial UHF broadcast

Posted: 03 Dec 2010     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Adaptive RF Power Amplifier Linearizer  SoC 

Provider of semiconductors for wireless communications, Scintera Networks, Inc., has just announced the availability of its SC1887-03 Adaptive RF Power Amplifier Linearizer (RFPAL) system-on-chip (SoC) for the digital terrestrial UHF broadcast TV market.

Adaptive linearisation, typically utilised to boost efficiency and output of high power broadcast amplifiers, has previously seen only limited use in lower power transmitters and exciters because of prohibitive complexity, cost, power consumption as well as footprint size. In contrast, the SC1887-03 functions directly at the carrier frequency and allows dramatic savings in cost, power consumption and size, while attaining remarkable performance in reducing out-of-band non-linearities.

Sales and marketing VP at Scintera, Kris Rausch explains, "Broadcast power amplifier designers face a tough choice between inefficient backoff schemes and complex/expensive digital pre-distortion techniques. Scintera eliminates this dilemma by bringing a highly integrated and cost-effective solution proven in wireless infrastructure to digital broadcast television applications."

Complex modulation schemes used in digital TVs today demand that the power amplifier (PA) operate linearly. Previous to the SC1887-03, engineers designing broadcast transmitters were typically left with no choice but to operate the PA in backoff mode to attain their linearity requirements. However, backoff operation is highly inefficient and requires the use of oversized and costly RF components. On the other hand, the SC1887-03 reduces complexity, power, and cost requirements by providing an easy-to-use, low-power, single-package solution which may be inserted into transmitter designs directly in line with the PA. The RFin/RFout solution likewise offers independent operation and requires neither complex software development nor access to base band signals. As an outcome, engineers can quickly deliver to market, linearized PA solutions in any configuration needed, and at the same time minimising development as well as manufacturing costs.

The SC1887-03 comes packaged in a standard 64-pin, 9 x 9 mm QFN package permitting the implementation of the entire pre-distortion and linearisation solution in less than 9 sq.cm of board space. This compact solution directly integrates into restricted form factors including PA modules. Even though applicable to all types of amplifiers and output power levels, the very low power consumption of the device (less than 900 mW) makes it well suited for low power exciters, drivers and transmitters.

Pricing and availability: The SC1887-03 SoC and the SC1887-EVK500 evaluation kit are currently available and may be purchased directly from Richardson Electronics Ltd. Pricing for the SC1887-03 SoC is Rs.4,243.66 ($95 )for 100 unit-quantities and Rs.49,137.14 ($1,100) for the SC1887-EVK500 evaluation kit.

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