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28 August 2014

Peregrine boosts power handling by 60%, shrinks footprint by 75% and speeds switching by 350% in upgraded carrier-grade Wi-Fi switch

Peregrine Semiconductor Corp of San Diego, CA, USA - a fabless provider of radio-frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) based on silicon-on-sapphire (SOS) and silicon-on-insulator (SOI) - has launched the UltraCMOS PE42424 high-isolation single-pole double-throw (SPDT) Wi-Fi RF switch, which is optimized for 802.11ac carrier and enterprise Wi-Fi access points.

As a successor to last year’s PE42423, the upgraded switch is 75% smaller and features a 60% increase in power handling and a 350% faster switching speed. The PE42424 is suited to transmit/receive switching applications for outdoor Wi-Fi access points that require high power handling and rugged, high-temperature performance. Peregrine says that its RF switch enables these WLAN products to realize the promise of 802.11ac, which is offering high data throughput in increasingly dense, bring-your-own-device (BYOD) environments.

“Wi-Fi is by far the cheapest way to deliver mobile data so, at a worldwide level, the deployment of Wi-Fi access points is accelerating,” says Joe Madden, founder & principal analyst at market resesrch firm Mobile Experts. “More than 1.8 million 802.11ac access points will be deployed next year, including both indoor and outdoor applications. In addition, most indoor small cells will also include Wi-Fi access-point hardware for seamless integration of Wi-Fi with mobile services,” he adds. “The wide bandwidth, high power and demanding linearity requirements of these access points drives a strong need for higher RF component performance.”

Carriers have been experiencing an exponential increase in mobile data traffic, says Peregrine. To provide consistent quality of service, they are offloading this traffic to Wi-Fi networks, which are increasingly integrating 802.11ac into their small cells. Indoor units (IDUs) were the first Wi-Fi access points to adopt the 802.11ac standard, and Peregrine’s inaugural Wi-Fi switch, the PE42423, was optimized for high performance within those devices. Now, outdoor unit (ODU) Wi-Fi access points are quickly adopting the 802.11ac standard, and their performance and environmental requirements are much more intensive. Peregrine developed the PE42424 to meet these specific 802.11ac-based ODU access point needs:

  • high power handling of 8W (to accommodate the higher transmit power of the access-point radios);
  • fast switching speed of 145ns (to enable higher throughput and data rates in high-density, BYOD environments);
  • high port-to-port isolation (to reduce signal leakage between transmit and receive paths);
  • temperature support up to 105°C (to withstand harsh environments and to reduce thermal constraints); and
  • small 1.5mm x 1.5mm footprint (to reduce board area and offer engineers more design options for other functions).

“Peregrine is extending its Wi-Fi RF switch line to address the tough challenges faced by designers of next-generation 802.11ac access points,” says senior marketing manager Kinana Hussain. “Our UltraCMOS technology and patented design techniques preserve the unmatched isolation performance of PE42424’s predecessor while increasing the power-handling capability, improving switching speeds and reducing the form factor.”

The PE42424 supports the latest carrier-grade Wi-Fi device demands with additional features, including:

  • high linearity over the entire power-supply range (with IIP3 of 61dBm and IIP2 of 125dBm), enabling system designs with lower supply rails and preventing linearity degradation through maximum power levels;
  • high ESD rating of 2500V HBM on RF pins to ground (1000V CDM on all pins), increasing product reliability and easing manufacturing flow;
  • smaller switch footprint that eliminates the need for external components (such as DC blocking capacitors); and
  • control logic support for 1.8V and 3.3V and wide power supply range from 2.3V to 5.5V that provides design flexibility.

The PE42424 SPDT RF switch features fast switching time (145ns with a 125kHz switching rate) and high isolation (48dB at 2.4GHz and 35dB at 6GHz). The 50-ohm absorptive switch supports +1.8V standard logic control and provides stable RF performance over a power supply range of 2.3-5.5V.
Samples, evaluation kits and volume-production parts are available now. Offered in a RoHS-compliant, 6-lead, 1.5mm x 1.5mm QFN package, the PE42424 costs $0.49 each for 10,000-quantity orders and $0.44 for 25,000-quantity orders.

Tags: Peregrine CMOS SOI

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