Six devices designed for antenna tuning in 4G LTE smart phones have joined the DuNE digitally tunable capacitor (DTC) line from Peregrine Semiconductor. The PE623060, PE623070, PE623080, and PE623909 DTCs range in capacitance from 0.6 to 7.7 pF and support main antenna power handling up to +34 dBm. The PE621010 and PE621020 DTCs range in capacitance from 1.38 to 14.0 pF and are optimized for power handling of up to +26 dBm, suiting them for diversity antennas.

All of the new DTCs are manufactured on Peregrine’s UltraCMOS technology process, with HaRP technology enhancements that enable them to meet LTE’s challenging harmonic and linearity requirements, the company says. They support a wide variety of tuning circuit technologies, with an emphasis on impedance matching and aperture-tuning applications. They also extend Peregrine’s high-performance tuning roadmap, first introduced in 2008.

Measuring 2 by 2 by 0.55 mm, these DTCs integrate bias generation, RF filtering and bypassing, a control interface, 2-kV human-body model (HBM) electrostatic discharge (ESD) protection, and other antenna tuning functions. They also integrate all decoding and biasing, and no external bypassing or filtering components are required. According to the company, they offer superior tuning accuracy, quality factor, linear step size, and tuning ratio, combined with excellent power handling and temperature stability.

These DTCs also are controlled through the widely supported three-wire (SPI-compatible) interface and are easy to incorporate into RF front-end designs, Peregrine says. They also provide a monolithically integrated antenna-tuning solution that improves total radiated power (TRP) with direct battery voltage operation to enable a more efficient smart phone with extended battery life, the company adds.

The PE6230x0 DTCs are optimized for key cellular frequency bands from 700 to 2700 MHz, featuring direct battery voltage operation with consistent performance enabled by on-chip voltage regulation. They have an IIP3 of greater than +70 dBm at 50 Ω and 2fo/3fo = –40/–50 dBm at 34-dBm RF (900 MHz) and 32-dBm RF (1900 MHz) harmonic performance.

The 5-bit, 32-state PE623060/70/80 DTCs have a capacitance range of 0.9 to 4.6 pF (5.1:1 tuning ratio) in discrete 119-fF steps, 0.85 to 2.4 pF (2.82:1 tuning ratio) in discrete 50-fF steps, and 2.15 to 7.7 pF (3.6:1 tuning ratio) in discrete 180-fF steps, respectively. The 4-bit, 16-state PE623909 DTC has a capacitance range of 0.6 to 2.35 pF (3.9:1 tuning ratio) in discrete 117-fF steps. The PE623900’s lower minimum capacitance solves a critical problem in high-frequency tuning, Peregrine says.

The 5-bit, 32-state PE6210x0 DTCs support the 100- to 3000-MHz frequency range. They extend the range of diversity antennas and improve data rates by optimizing the antenna performance at the operating frequency. The PE621010 has a capacitance range of 1.38 to 5.90 pF (4.3:1 tuning ratio) in discrete 146-fF steps. The PE621020 has a capacitance range of 1.88 to 14.0 pF (7.4:1 tuning ratio) in discrete 391-fF steps.

The PE6230x0 and PE6210x0 evaluation kits include an interface board and USB cable for quick evaluation, prototyping, and debugging via GUI-based control software. The DTCs are available in 10- and 12-lead quad flat no-lead (QFN) packages. Samples and volume-production quantities are available today.

Peregrine Semiconductor