Atmel's RF SiGe Power Amplifier for Bluetooth

Short-range wireless connectivity is coming into play much more quickly than long-range wireless, which will let you dial into the network from Fiji on your PDA when you're on vacation. Consider it a blessing for now and cheer the fact that tech firms are more concerned with untethering you from Cat 5 at work and leaving you disconnected at play. Atmel's power amplifier for the radio portion of Bluetooth systems is called the T7023 and is manufactured in Silicon-Germanium (SiGe) technology, which is said to be more cost-effective than Gallium-Arsenide (GaAs) power amplifier gadgets. The new power amplifier is designed for 2.4 GHz-ISM Bluetooth (class 1), data, HomeRF DECT, proprietary radios and WLAN FHSS applications. In Bluetooth systems, Amtel says the new device can boost the operation range beyond 100 m. The power amplifier achieves an output power of +23 dBm/ 3 V at a gain of 25 dB. A ramp-up signal from a Bluetooth transceiver can even reduce the T7023's gain to -17 dB. The ramp-up signal also prevents an over swing of the output power by a defined, slow switch-on. Due to the ramp-control feature and a low quiescent current, a switch transistor for the supply voltage isn't required. The device provides a PAE value of up to 45% at 2.4 GHz and a power consumption of 165 mA. Switching to standby mode helps to reduce the current consumption to less than 10 microampere. Samples of the T7023 in small MLP16 (4 x 4 mm) packages are available now. Atmel provides a design kit including a reference design, design guide and RF board. Pricing for the T7023 starts at $1.01 (at 10 k).

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