Freescale RF CMOS 90nm Transceiver Reduces EDGE Subsystem Size by 50%

Expanding its RF offerings for Enhanced Data Rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE) handset design, Freescale Semiconductor unveiled its first RF CMOS 90-nanometer transceiver. The new RFX275-30 is a transceiver subsystem that offers industry-leading low transmit and receive current, high receiver sensitivity and compact size. It accelerates phone manufacturers’ integration time via simplified programming. Additionally, the new subsystem delivers lower total cost of ownership by significantly shortening test time in manufacturing and bill of materials through integration.

“This subsystem represents the continued focus Freescale has on enabling our customers to quickly and efficiently design next-generation handsets,” said Klaus Buehring, vice president and general manager of Freescale’s Radio Products Division. “The new subsystem continues to set the bar for time to first call in handset design. With a greater than 50 percent reduction in board size, we continue giving our customers the ability to design extremely small form factor products.”

The new EDGE RF subsystem, the RFX275-30, leverages Freescale’s proven first-generation EDGE solution, which has yielded unprecedented results for RF designers, including:

  • Simplified programming, delivering a 60 percent reduction in time to first call
  • Shortened test time by up to 90 percent
  • Significant increase in phone yields with up to a 30 percent improvement over previous solutions

Freescale’s 2.75G EDGE RF subsystem
Building on the success of the first-generation solution, the new RFX275-30 is processed in 90-nanometer CMOS technology, which yields the dramatic 50 percent reduction in board space.

The RFX275-30 EDGE RF subsystem consists of the MMM7010 transceiver, which integrates the analog baseband and contains the DigRF interface, and the MMM6028 power amplifier, which includes the antenna switch and most passive components. The highly integrated subsystem delivers:

  • Low power consumption for increased standby and talk times
  • -110 dBm sensitivity for improved call performance
  • Reliable quality for clear reception, low noise and fewer dropped calls
  • Highly integrated components for ease of assembly
  • Auto-calibration features for improved handset yields in manufacturing
  • Software-friendly programming model enabling fast time to first call

Layer-One Programming Accelerates Time to First Call
Freescale’s innovative layer-one programming function, which debuted in the RFX275-20 RF subsystem earlier this year and is currently used in a variety of handsets worldwide, is included in the new RFX275-30. Previously, in the programming of the baseband to control the RF transceiver, a designer would need to consider all the critical timing between the transceiver, power amplifiers, switches, low noise amplifiers, baseband processor and voltage regulators. These dependencies require a significant investment in time to complete phone development successfully.

With Freescale’s revolutionary approach, an engineer enters a single command stating the desired channel and power level. This command sets the parameters and times the events such that system compliance is virtually assured. Freescale’s programming method uses single-command programming that reduces calibration steps and practically guarantees compliance.

Freescale’s RF EDGE solutions are also compliant with the DigRF industry standard, an important interface allowing phone manufacturers to incorporate components from various suppliers with the confidence that they will all work together. Freescale was among the first companies to build and deliver DigRF-compliant radios in mass production, significantly improving performance over initial industry offerings.

The RFX275-30 EDGE RF subsystem is sampling now and is slated for production in Q307.

About Freescale Semiconductor
Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. is a global leader in the design and manufacture of embedded semiconductors for the automotive, consumer, industrial, networking and wireless markets. The privately held company is based in Austin, Texas, and has design, research and development, manufacturing or sales operations in more than 30 countries. Freescale is one of the world’s largest semiconductor companies with sales of $6.2 billion (USD) for the most recently reported four quarters.

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