Analog Devices Creates RF-to-Digital Transceivers for Mobile WiMAX

Analog Devices, Inc. (NYSE: ADI), a global leader in high-performance semiconductors for signal processing applications, introduced RF-to-digital baseband transceivers designed to enable broadband connectivity in mobile communications terminals, such as cell phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs), and handheld multimedia devices, using WiMAX. As WiMAX evolves from a fixed-line protocol to one that increasingly serves portable communications applications, device manufacturers are requiring smaller, more energy-efficient solutions that deliver IEEE 802.16d/e mobile WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) standard compatibility within the cost, space, and power budgets of mobile communications terminals.

According to research firm, In-Stat, the global market for WiMAX chipsets is expected to increase to 21 million units in 2011, up from three million in 2006—with much of that coming from growth in the Mobile WiMAX sector. Already, wireless service carriers, including Sprint Nextel and Clearwire Corp., are planning Mobile WiMAX deployment in the U.S. in conjunction with device manufacturers such as Motorola, Nokia, and Samsung. Plans for worldwide networks in Europe, Africa and Asia-Pacific are similarly spurring demand for RF transceivers capable of supporting the 2.3- to 2.7-GHz and 3.3- to 3.8-GHz Mobile WiMAX spectrum.

Building on ADI’s AD9352 and AD9353 family of integrated WiMAX transceiver components introduced in 2006, the AD9354 and AD9355 components consume less power than other transceivers in their class and are available in a 20 percent smaller package, while adding an additional receiver path for multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) support. The power and space savings of the AD9354 and AD9355 components enable manufacturers to incorporate WiMAX functionality into handsets, thumb drives or PCMCIA cards. By integrating ADCs, DACs and real-time control and calibration loops, the transceiver components repartition the signal chain, combining all analog and RF functionality on the AD9354 or AD9355 components. This frees providers of the communications and applications processors to manufacture their digital products in the most cost-effective digital CMOS process technologies, reducing power, package size and system design complexity.

“As a high bandwidth technology capable of reaching across several kilometers, WiMAX is proving to be an ideal communications medium for mobile devices,” said J. Pierre Lamoureux, vice president and chief technology officer for Wavesat Inc., a leading fabless semiconductor developer of WiMAX baseband chips and development tools. “Analog Devices recognized this potential early on. ADI’s design efforts and ‘smart partitioning’ of the analog and digital blocks have yielded transceivers with the sensitivity and linearity that helps companies like Wavesat accelerate mobile WiMAX deployment.”

The AD9354 and AD9355 transceivers integrate two direct-conversion receivers that provide support for MIMO technology, which ensures mobile devices achieve uninterrupted WiMAX service. The direct-conversion transmitter architecture achieves state-of-the-art error vector magnitude (EVM), maximizing network throughput. The transceivers communicate with a WiMAX terminal’s baseband ASIC or FPGA using the industry standard JESD207 digital interface that Analog Devices helped to define. The data bus requires 13 pins, which is comparable to competitive products employing analog interfaces.

“By including on-chip data conversion and adding a second receiver signal chain to our transceiver architecture, Analog Devices is helping communications service providers extend WiMAX into the mobile marketplace,” said Thomas Gratzek, business director, WiMAX Transceiver Group, Analog Devices. “The AD9354 and AD9355 cover the key WiMAX frequency bands and are ideally suited for the small form factors in development.”

More about the AD9354 and AD9355
The AD9354 and AD9355 operate in the 2.3- to 2.7-GHz and the 3.3- to 3.7-GHz ranges and support channel bandwidths of 3.5, 4.375, 5, 7, 8.75 and 10 MHz. The devices have an excellent 3.25 dB noise figure (NF) and best-in-class linearity, both of which enable optimum real-world performance as WiMAX network traffic increases. The smart partitioning architecture enables autonomous AGC (automatic-gain control), transmit-power control (TPC), and calibration routines that dramatically reduce the RF driver development effort. Additionally, the highly accurate closed-loop power control enables 1-point factory calibration of transmit power. In contrast, other transceivers require 8 to 10 calibration points, which increase final test costs and extended development times.

Availability and Pricing
The AD9354 and AD9355 mobile WiMAX transceivers are sampling now. The devices are priced at $11.45 per unit in sample volumes. The AD9354 and AD9355 are housed in an 8 mm × 8 mm, 64-lead LFCSP (lead-frame chip-scale package).

About Analog Devices
Innovation, performance, and excellence are the cultural pillars on which Analog Devices has built one of the longest standing, highest growth companies within the technology sector. Acknowledged industry-wide as the world leader in data conversion and signal conditioning technology, Analog Devices serves over 60,000 customers, representing virtually all types of electronic equipment. Celebrating over 40 years as a leading global manufacturer of high-performance integrated circuits used in analog and digital signal processing applications, Analog Devices is headquartered in Norwood, Massachusetts, with design and manufacturing facilities throughout the world. Analog Devices’ common stock is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “ADI” and is included in the S&P 500 Index.