Trade Resources Industry Views Peregrine Has Announced The Latest Version of Its Proprietary UltraCMOS RF SOI Technology

Peregrine Has Announced The Latest Version of Its Proprietary UltraCMOS RF SOI Technology

At the 2013 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain (25–28 February), Peregrine Semiconductor Corp of San Diego, CA, USA, a fabless provider of radio-frequency (RF) integrated circuits (ICs) based on silicon-on-sapphire (SOS), has announced the latest version of its proprietary UltraCMOS RF silicon-on-insulator (SOI) process technology: Semiconductor Technology Platform 8 (STeP8).

STeP8 technology shows a 36% improvement in RonCoff performance over STeP5 technology (announced just a year ago), dramatically improving the linearity, insertion loss, and isolation capabilities of Peregrine's RFIC products, the firm says.

Flagship devices using STeP8 include a HaRP-enhanced SP16T (single-pole, 16-throw) RF switch and a highly integrated (single-pole, four-throw) SP4T DuNE enhanced antenna-tuning switch, both of which are available for sampling.

The initial STeP8-based SP16T RF switch demonstrates an almost 40% shrink over the footprint of its STeP-5-based counterpart.

The SP4T antenna-tuning switch has on-resistance of 1.5 Ohms, and insertion-loss performance of 0.15dB matched at 900MHz — a 66% improvement over the previous version.

“As a fabless semiconductor company, our unique combination of process architecture, circuit designs, and device modeling has enabled an accelerated technology roadmap,” says Mark Miscione, VP of RF technology solutions. “These results further validate Peregrine’s expertise in advanced RF silicon-on-insulator (SOI) process development and its commitment to integration and high-performance at the RF front-end,” he adds.

The 4G LTE network has introduced significant challenges to the RF front-end of smart phones, including a fragmented RF spectrum, which causes co-existence issues between bands and other connectivity standards such as GPS, WiFi, and Bluetooth. The lack of global frequency alignment has resulted in more than 40 LTE bands now identified.

“Given the demanding RF conditions in which mobile devices must operate, demonstrating the ability to meet next-generation requirements for high linearity, low loss and optimization is critical for success in the RF components market,” comments Francis Sideco, senior principal analyst, consumer electronics and communications technologies, at market analyst firm IHS. “Companies who are able to deliver innovation along those lines are strongly positioned to outpace their competitors.”

To ensure consistent, reliable operation within the LTE environment, mobile wireless device designers are required to incorporate high-performance components into the RF front-end while maintaining a small form factor, says Peregrine. Highly integrated RF front-end modules (such as those enabled by UltraCMOS STeP8) address these demands by providing a combination of high linearity and low insertion loss in a single, monolithically integrated device, the firm adds.

Peregrine is sampling the STeP8-based SP16T RF switch and SP4T antenna-tuning switch to select customers.

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