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Front-End T/R Modules Output Up to 10 W for X-band Applications

Dec. 8, 2020
Heterogenous GaN and GaAs multi-chip modules deliver up to three times greater power than competitive devices.

In the RF devices arena, Qorvo is first out of the gate with a fully integrated T/R front-end module (FEM) family capable of delivering up to 10 W of saturated RF transmit power in a small, 7 mm x 5 mm land-grid-array (LGA) package. Thanks to the company’s heterogeneous packaging techniques, these new devices provide the power density, reliability, and reduced size needed for next-generation X-band radar and surveillance platforms.

The flagship product, QPF5010, can generate 10 W of power, which is three times greater than the closest competitive solution, while operating between 8 and 12 GHz (X-band). At the same time, the QPF5010 delivers power-added efficiency (PAE) of 30-40%. That’s the result of using GaN and GaAs technology for the four functional blocks, including the T/R switch, power amplifier, low-noise amplifier, and limiter. Qorvo also offers pin-compatible 5-watt (QPF5005) and 2-watt (QPF5002) devices as part of the product family.

In the QPF5010, engineers will find a high-performance FEM in a compact size, making design, layout, assembly, and test easier to achieve. Thus, design cycles grow shorter as does time to market. With three different power ratings (10 W, 5 W, and 2 W) in the same package configuration, the family eliminates the need to create unique layouts for each power rating.

The integrated surface-mount technology (SMT) design also dramatically improves overall reliability, extending mean time between failures (MTBF) by eliminating many of the potential failure points inherent with discrete PCB alternatives. In addition, procurement and supply-chain challenges are reduced by a smaller bill of materials (BOM). The heterogenous multi-chip module (MCM) packaging capability can be extended to other frequency bands and applications as needed.

The QPF5010QPF5005, and QPF5002 (see the table for specifications) are available for sampling to qualified customers.

Qorvo, www.qorvo.com

About the Author

David Maliniak | Executive Editor, Microwaves & RF

I am Executive Editor of Microwaves & RF, an all-digital publication that broadly covers all aspects of wireless communications. More particularly, we're keeping a close eye on technologies in the consumer-oriented 5G, 6G, IoT, M2M, and V2X markets, in which much of the wireless market's growth will occur in this decade and beyond. I work with a great team of editors to provide engineers, developers, and technical managers with interesting and useful articles and videos on a regular basis. Check out our free newsletters to see the latest content.

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About me:

In his long career in the B2B electronics-industry media, David Maliniak has held editorial roles as both generalist and specialist. As Components Editor and, later, as Editor in Chief of EE Product News, David gained breadth of experience in covering the industry at large. In serving as EDA/Test and Measurement Technology Editor at Electronic Design, he developed deep insight into those complex areas of technology. Most recently, David worked in technical marketing communications at Teledyne LeCroy, leaving to rejoin the EOEM B2B publishing world in January 2020. David earned a B.A. in journalism at New York University.

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