Finding The Missing Piece

Mr. Browne,
Your article in the March 4 MWRF UPDATE e-newsletter titled, "Making Wireless ICs A Commodity," got off to an interesting start. But it appears to have been cut short on the MWRF web site. Is it available elsewhere?
Best regards,
Steve Preston

Hi Steve, Thanks for asking, and for reading. I've been hearing from folks that it is not obvious what I am referring to at the bottom of this piece. It was actually meant to direct people to a story below it, about 30-cent gain blocks from Avago. Please see the excerpted version of my editorial, "Making Wireless ICs A Commodity," and the story to which it refers, titled "InGaP Gain Blocks For Half A Buck?" Jack Browne

Making Wireless ICs A Commodity
As the wireless marketplace evolved, however, to include every handheld or pocket-sized device imaginable, the price differential between items sold for infrastructure use and those for handsets has become dramatic. Of course, wireless products are also used in industrial, medical, and a variety of smaller markets. Still, it is the cellular communications market that represents the largest opportunity. Yet that dream of competing for sales into handset markets may have faded for some companies, given the required pricing structure. Few companies can match Avago's achievement of gain blocks (see below) for those prices, even in large volumes.

InGaP Gain Blocks For Half A Buck?
A pair of gain blocks from Avago Technologies offers cost-effective solutions for boosting signal levels in WiMAX and satellite television products. Based on InGaP heterojunction-bipolar-transistor (HBT) technology, the MMIC AVT-51663 and AVT-53663 amplifiers are ideal for cellular infrastructure and other wireless applications from DC to 6 GHz. Model AVT-51663 typically provides 19-dB gain, +24-dBm third-order intercept point, and +12.5-dBm output power at 1-dB compression with 3.2-dB noise figure at 2 GHz, running from 37 mA and +5 VDC. Model AVT-53663 operates with +5 VDC and 48 mA for typically 19.5-dB gain, +5-dBm output third-order intercept point, +15-dBm output power at 1-dB compression, and 3.2-dB noise figure at 2 GHz. Both are internally matched to 50 Ohms and supplied in RoHS-compliant SOT-363 surface-mount packages. The models AVT-51663 and AVT-53663 gain blocks are available with prices starting at $0.31 and $0.33, respectively, in 10,000 volumes.

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