Bryan Ingram, vice president and general manager, Agilent Wireless Semiconductor Division
Agilent Technologies draws on more than three decades of microwave and RF design and manufacturing experience. This has enabled us to define and introduce disruptive technologies vital to the success of wireless communications. With the support of Agilent Labs' rich capabilities, two industry-changing technologies have been our most recent major contributions.
Film Bulk Acoustic Resonator (FBAR) filters and Enhancement-mode pHEMT (E-pHEMT) power amplifier modules are important to today's new, feature-rich mobile appliances: FBAR filters' small size, low insertion loss and good over-temperature performance provides flexibility in design and enables smaller handset form factors. The breakthrough low-profile FBAR duplexers have become industry standard, and are now in the majority of new miniature U.S. PCS handsets; E-pHEMT power amplifiers provide the industry's best power-added efficiency, increasing talk time by up to 30 minutes. E-pHEMT PAs are now shipping in volume for GSM handset applications, as well as the next generation of CDMA handsets.
As the industry moves toward ubiquitous mobile connectivity, Agilent will leverage its FBAR and E-pHEMT leadership to combine them into more highly integrated RF Front-End Modules (FEMs). These are smaller than the individual component solutions. The first implementations will be separate 850 MHz and 1900 MHz "by-band" modules for CDMA applications. This approach is very flexible for single-band or multi-band handsets, depending on the phone design and regional needs. Minimizing interconnection and optimizing/controlling impedance matching improves the effective power efficiency, output power level and linearity. This results in modules that offer the handset designer even smaller, more current-efficient integrated solutions, with improved top-level yields.