In an integrated world, connections matter more than ever. As do the technologies that make them possible.
Over the last decade, mobile devices have transformed our lives, putting the information and people that matter most to us at our fingertips. But, they've also placed formidable demands on the communications infrastructure.
Today, wireless service providers are struggling to keep up with the exponential growth in mobile data traffic. Social networking, cloud computing, and mobile video are pushing the network to its breaking point. And with data traffic expected to increase 15x over the next five years, there's no time to wait.
New solutions are needed to keep pace with our demand for anywhere, anytime connectivity.
Growth in data traffic over the next five years.
Today's wireless network is quickly evolving to meet the demands of tomorrow.
Base stations are getting smaller. They're moving into homes, enterprises, and congested outdoor areas to make the network work in more places and at higher speeds. Form factors can be as small as USB sticks, challenging system designers to push the limits of integration.
LTE is increasing channel density and performance requirements. Active antenna arrays (AAAs) are displacing passive antennas, dramatically increasing the number of radio transceivers required. Yet, designers must meet this challenge without sacrificing performance, since parameters like dynamic range, receive sensitivity, and power efficiency are more important than ever.
Smaller cells need smaller prices. Because femto- and picocells cover much less area than macrocells, many more of them are required. Service providers are hypersensitive to unit price, raising the pressure on designers to drive down bill-of-materials costs.
The heterogeneous network uses a combination of macrocell and small-cell base stations to extend network coverage and capacity.
System designers need dense analog integration along with high dynamic range, exceptional sensitivity, and miserly power consumption.
Depending on the radio architecture, the transceiver path of a typical small-cell base station can have up to ten critical RF devices in the transceiver path. At Maxim Integrated, we've been working on bringing these blocks together.
Our current generation of femtocell transceivers (MAX2550–MAX2553) eliminate external amplifiers and baluns to reduce solution size by 43%. The next generation pulls all transceiver functions into a single chip. It targets a broader range of small-cell base stations needing multimode (3G/LTE) support. Channel density is much higher in these designs, so we had to up the integration level. Customers benefit from a solution that's 83% smaller, enabling them to use an active antenna array for enhanced LTE performance.
In macrocell base stations, integration enables system designers to replace multiple analog signal-conversion functions with a single RF DAC (MAX5879). This breakthrough product is built around an extremely high-performance DAC (14-bit, 2.3Gsps), allowing designers to shift key analog functions to the digital domain. This eliminates the errors commonly associated with analog upconversion. And it provides a solution that is 30% smaller and 36% cooler than conventional transmitter architectures.
Integration of high-performance RF ICs and high-speed data converters for optimal spectral efficiency
Dense RF and analog integration for minimal board space and BOM cost
Low-power design for improved energy efficiency and thermal performance
Single-chip femtocell transceivers (MAX2550-MAX2553) provide a fully integrated solution to minimize size and BOM cost
Direct RF synthesis DAC (MAX5879) for multicarrier, multiband, and multistandard transmitters enables the development of fully digital RF transmitters on a common hardware platform
Ultra-wideband synthesizer (MAX2870) with integrated VCO enables multiband LO frequency synthesis in base-station radios
InTune™ digital point-of-load controller (MAX15301) with automatic compensation, integrated FET driver, and integrated PMBus™ telemetry provide intelligent power management
Broadband gain blocks (MAX2612-MAX2616) deliver exceptional gain flatness, noise figure, and linearity, making them ideal for general-purpose RF amplifier applications in base-station and wireless backhaul radios