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November 8, 2009

Avago launches new integrated GPS front end modules

Integrates FBAR pre-filter with low noise amplifier

By CBR Staff Writer

Avago Technologies has launched integrated miniature GPS front-end modules that combine a film bulk acoustic resonator (FBAR) filter with a low noise amplifier (LNA). The ALM-1912 integrates a LNA and a high-rejection pre-filter in a miniature compact package to provide GPS radio frequency (RF) front-end module which the company says can help to simplify the design of GPS handset applications.

The company said that the new offering is designed for use in mobile handsets, personal navigation devices (PND) and other GPS-enabled applications. This GPS front-end module is housed in a miniature 2.9 by 2.0 by 1.0mm MCOB package to minimise the amount of printed circuit board space required and is suitable for use in space constrained applications. The integration of FBAR pre-filtering in the ALM-1912 enables the module to provide rejection at Cell, PCS, and WiFi/Bluetooth frequencies.

In addition, the GPS front-end module leverages Avago’s 0.25µm GaAs enhancement-mode pHEMT process to deliver a 1.62dB noise figure, 19.3dB gain, and +1.5dBm input third order intercept point (IIP3) and more than 50dBc of out of band rejection at typical operating conditions of 2.7V and 6mA.

According to Avago, the ALM-1912 delivers a low noise figure and high linearity which helps to significantly improve the sensitivity of GPS handset applications. A CMOS-compatible shutdown pin is included for turning the LNA on/off or for current adjustment.

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The new ALM-1912 has a built-in shunt inductor at the RF input pin to enhance ESD production, which allows the device to survive more than 3kV of Human Body Model (HBM) ESD charge at the RF input pin. By integrating a GPS LNA with pre- and post high-rejection FBAR filters, the high-performance ALM-1912 simplifies and shortens the RF design process, reduces component count, and provides RF performance levels that are critical in GPS applications, the company said.

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