Arctic Semiconductor
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Low-Power 4x4 RF Transceiver Handles Up/Down Conversions

March 22, 2024
The all-in-one transceiver performs multi-stage upconversion and downconversion from RF to digital and vice versa from 600 MHz to 7.2 GHz.

The Overview: An Innovative RF Transceiver

SilverWings, a new 4x4 RF transceiver from Arctic Semiconductor, is touted as the first such device to offer multi-stage upconversion and downconversion from digital to RF and RF to digital. The chip integrates high-performance analog capabilities with high-bandwidth digital functions.

Who Needs It & Why: All-in-One RF Transceiver Design

Designers of all manners of wireless systems want to put as much integration in play as possible, reducing costs and printed-circuit-board footprints. SilverWings offers an avenue toward greater integration in a wide range of applications including:

  • Wireless radios
  • Satellite communication
  • Repeaters
  • Fixed-wireless access devices
  • User equipment
  • Medical devices
  • Instrumentation

Moreover, designers stand to gain from the device’s low-power architecture and digital-IF and high-IF conversion methodologies, which enable programmable and adaptable system designs.

Under the Hood: Seamless RF Transceiver Integration

Within the SilverWings RF transceiver is a complete suite for functionality that’s essential to implementing upconversion and downconversion. The receiver sports an RF gain stage for extremely fast automatic gain control (AGC). The device also includes digital predistortion (DPD) on the transmitter, further increasing integration while also helping subdue external power-amplifier nonlinearity.

The device provides a quartet of transmit and receive paths with two observation paths. It offers a control interface that runs at up to 400 Mb/s for pinpoint control and brings up to 72 dB of analog-controllable RF gain.

For the power-conscious designer, SilverWings brings a 60% power reduction compared to competitive solutions, it’s claimed. It does so even as it integrates RF gain with gain control in both the transmit and receive signal paths. The linearization of the wideband power amplifier provided by the device’s integrated DPD brings manageable radio-unit power consumption in massive-MIMO applications.

Thanks to its digital-IF conversion methodology, SilverWings eliminates the intricate software calibration steps that compensate for IQ imbalance and local-oscillator leakage. This significantly reduces costs in the development and production stages, according to Arctic. Moreover, the device’s multi-stage analog and digital upconversion and downconversion functions provide for a programmable and flexible system design that’s tailored around the operating frequency, bandwidth, and other required specifications.

The SilverWings’ MP is available to order now.

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