The number of frequency bands in use around the world is growing and commercial systems are now extending up into the millimetre wave frequencies above 50GHz. If you are an RF system designer this means you are facing significant challenges. Adding the increasing demands on performance, cost and power consumption you might have the one or the other sleepless night.
A sleeping pill comes in form of sophisticated wideband amplifiers which will enable you to address a lot of those challenges and even provide your customers with a product that is flexible enough to be used worldwide with little or no changes.
Especially in the cellular infrastructure market, where wideband amplifiers are able to provide the RF front end for existing 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G base stations with a single device instead of dozens or even hundreds of components it is easy to see the advantages.
While traditional RF front end designs require separate amplifiers and support components for each band it is possible to span frequencies from 800MHz to 3.5GHz with single wideband devices and therefore to replace many other components in the front end RF board.
Overview RF frequency spectrums from Analog Devices
This design approach also reduces the complexity of parts management and the operating expenses for the operator as a single board can be used for networks around the world rather than requiring an operator to manage multiple versions.
Smaller cells supporting ten or twenty users offer potential for cost, size and power reduction compared to large cells and enable the operators to cost effectively expand network coverage. In these cells the as low as possible current consumption of wideband amplifiers which allows for smaller designs and optimised bill of materials (BoM) cost represents a future-proven solution.
The trade offs related to the use of wideband amplifiers like the higher noise figure than the one of dedicated narrowband amplifiers will usually have no negative impact on the system performance. For example, there is no need for an additional RF switch to change frequency bands when using a wideband amplifier, as a result, the overall noise of the signal chain is reduced. This even creates another advantage for the system designer as the cost of components in the signal chain can be decreased.
We could go on and on about the advantages and benefits of wideband amplifiers – and we do:
In addition we can supply evaluation boards so that you can test out the wideband amplifier along with the whole signal chain to demonstrate the lower overall noise figure.
Click here for a full range of RF products from Analog Devices and EBV.
Also stay tuned for a full article on “The Rise of Wideband Wireless” from Keith Benson (Product Line Director, Amplifier Products; Analog Devices, Inc.) and myself.