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22 February 2016

Skyworks unveils SkyBlue technology to enhance RF power capability and efficiency in LTE amplifiers and front-ends

Skyworks Solutions Inc of Woburn, MA, USA (which manufactures analog and mixed-signal semiconductors) has launched SkyBlue, an enabling technology that enhances both the power capability and efficiency in LTE amplifiers and front-end solutions.

With SkyBlue, Skyworks targets a new high-efficiency system that could capitalize on recent co-developments in voltage management and power amplifiers. In addition to eliminating the complex calibration required for envelope tracking systems, SkyBlue maintains efficiency at several backed-off power levels with no significant impact to efficiency, even when compensating for varying losses in multiband devices. Further, SkyBlue has demonstrated Class 2 operation (26dBm antenna power compared to 23dBm antenna power in Class 3 operation), which results in much wider cell coverage within existing networks. Skyworks reckons that SkyBlue will be particularly critical in helping to meet emerging requirements for additional front-end output power demanded by carrier aggregation and high-power user equipment (HPUE) demands for cell edge improvements by TDD carriers.

Designs utilizing SkyBlue technology are said to not only deliver twice the power of envelope and average power tracking systems available on the market currently, but across much broader power ranges. These efficiencies can be more than 15-20% in medium to high power ranges where an LTE system operates. Further, these efficiency and power enhancements are achieved with a much simpler implementation compared to envelope tracking, making it easier for OEMs worldwide to deploy. The end result is envelope-tracking-like system efficiency with the simplicity of average power tracking, says the firm. In first-half 2016, Skyworks will begin shipments of products leveraging SkyBlue with a tier-one customer.

"While average power tracking is currently the most popular method to achieve higher power and efficiency gains in LTE amplifiers, Skyworks believes SkyBlue will quickly replace this technology as it delivers industry-leading performance in a straightforward design," claims chief technology officer Peter L. Gammel. "Customers and OEMs can use their existing infrastructure to implement SkyBlue, enabling some of the highest-performing platforms with the shortest times to market when compared to competing envelope tracking alternatives which are more difficult to calibrate," he adds. 

Skyworks plans to leverage SkyBlue throughout its next generation of highly integrated SkyOne, SkyOneUltra and SkyLiTE product families, as well as its multimode, multiband power amplifiers (MMPAs) covering all application segments.

Tags: Skyworks envelope tracking

Visit: www.skyworksinc.com/Products_SkyBlue.aspx

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