STMicroelectronics boosts next-generation basestations as mobile broadband booms
Date: Sun, 06/12/2011 - 19:57
STMicroelectronics, a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, has announced a highly integrated device enabling wireless infrastructure equipment makers to meet the demand for more flexible and compact next-generation mobile network basestations, and at lower cost. The STW82100B series will also be used in equipment such as RF (radio-frequency) instrumentation and general wireless-infrastructure applications.
Demand for broadband services is driving the fastest growth ever seen in the mobile communications industry. Mobile network operators are quickly rolling out faster (HSPA/HSPA+) services offering data rates at 14.4Mbit/s and above. Commitment to the higher-speed next-generation standard 3GPP-LTE is growing more quickly still. Infonetics Research sees market for LTE infrastructure, which requires several types of basestations, exceeding $11bn by 2014.
ST’s new ICs, the STW82100B series, meet the high-performance and low-cost demands of equipment suppliers by integrating important basestation functions, such as the RF frequency synthesizer and down-converter in a single device. Its suitability is already proven for new standards, such as LTE. ST’s high-quality BiCMOS process has been used to achieve this advanced level of integration, while also meeting all key performance requirements. ST chips implemented in this advanced technology process are already being widely used by major basestation manufacturers.
“This family of products shows the effectiveness of silicon-germanium (SiGe) integration in challenging RF applications and demonstrates, once more, the potential of ST’s proprietary BiCMOS technology,” said Flavio Benetti, Marketing Director of ST’s Networking and Storage Division. “Today, ST is also successfully serving other markets such as optical communications applications with BiCMOS process options offering high-speed transistors operating at up to 230GHz FT / 280GHz FMAX.”
The STW82100B series (STW82100B, STW82101B, STW82102B, STW82103B) is built on the foundation of ST’s proven RF frequency synthesizer ICs (STW81102 series), which are widely used in basestations and other wireless applications worldwide. It provides flexibility for designers by supporting different modes of operation. When used in the receiver section it can be configured to offer a dedicated LO (Local Oscillator) frequency generator for each antenna path, or can be used in a more traditional antenna-diversity scheme. In transmitter loopback circuits, designers can profit from its excellent gain flatness and the integrated 10-bit DAC to drive an external PIN diode for optimal signal level calibration.