Industry's first dual IF VGA supports multi-mode 4G base station transceivers

January 26, 2012 // By Paul Buckley
Integrated Device Technology is claiming the industry’s first FlatNoise dual intermediate frequency (IF) variable gain amplifier (VGA) for multi-mode 2G/3G/4G wireless base station transceivers. The company’s devices claim to offer the industry’s best noise figure (4 dB) for maximum gain and virtually no degradation when gain is reduced, improving quality-of-service (QoS) and easing the signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) requirements of the downstream data converter to reduce system cost.

The IDT F1240 and F1241 are dual-channel digitally-controlled IF VGAs featuring IDT’s FlatNoise technology. This technology virtually eliminates noise figure degradation for the critical top 13 dB section of a wide 31 dB gain control range – a stark contrast to other IF VGAs which typically exhibit a dB for dB degradation in noise figure as gain is reduced.

FlatNoise eases the SNR requirements of the system’s data converter, enabling customers to improve signal quality and use a more cost-effective, lower-resolution data converter. For many applications, this allows the customer to downgrade from a 14-bit data converter to a 12-bit data converter with comparable system SNR.
The company's IF VGAs feature extremely low distortion (OIP3 = +49 dBm), allowing for higher front-end gain, improving the receiver’s sensitivity and resulting in additional QoS enhancement. The devices operate over a 10 MHz to 500 MHz frequency range with a typical maximum gain of 20 dB and offer the industry’s lowest power consumption (80 mA per channel). In addition, the IF VGAs are accurate, with a gain step error of only 0.04 dB, improving the system SNR performance even further. A parallel or serial communication interface provides control of a 6-bit (0.5 dB: F1240) or 5-bit (1.0 dB: F1241) resolution, giving designers maximum flexibility.

The IDT F1240 and F1241 are currently sampling to qualified customers and are available in a 5x5 mm 32-pin QFN package.

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