900MHz ISM-Band, 250mW Power Amplifiers with Analog or Digital Gain Control

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The MAX2232/MAX2233 low-voltage, silicon RF power amplifiers (PAs) are designed for use in the 900MHz ISM band. They operate from a single +2.7V to +5.5V supply, allowing them to be powered directly from a 3-cell NiCd or a 1-cell Lithium-Ion battery. The devices typically deliver 250mW (+24dBm) of output power at 915MHz from a single +3.6V supply, or 150mW (+22dBm) from a single +2.7V supply. At +24dBm output power, power-added efficiency (PAE) is 44%.

The MAX2232/MAX2233 provide 24dB of gain, which is adjustable over a continuous 24dB span via the analog gain-control pin of the MAX2232 or in two 10dB steps via the 2-bit programmable gain-control DAC of the MAX2233. An external capacitor sets the RF output power envelope ramp time, reducing spurious emissions during power-up and power-down by providing a gradual change in output power (MAX2232).

The MAX2232/MAX2233 feature a low-power shutdown mode, which typically draws less than 1µA of supply current, saving power during "idle slots" in time-division multiple-access (TDMA) systems. The ΔVSWR of the RF input in shutdown mode relative to normal operation is 1.2:1. The devices also feature a thermal shutdown function, enabling the PA to protect itself from excessive temperature conditions that could damage the IC. A capacitor to ground limits thermal cycling by setting a thermal shutdown timeout period.

The MAX2232/MAX2233 are available in a space-saving, thermally enhanced 16-pin power-QSOP (PQSOP) package.
MAX2232, MAX2233: Typical Application Circuit MAX2232, MAX2233: Typical Application Circuit Enlarge+

Key Features

  • 800MHz to 1000MHz Frequency Range
  • 250mW (+24dBm) Output Power at 915MHz from +3.6V Supply
  • +2.7V to +5.5V Single-Supply Operation
  • 44% Power-Added Efficiency
  • 24dB Power Gain
  • 24dB Analog Gain-Control Range (MAX2232)
  • Three Levels of Digitally Programmed Power Gain in 10dB Steps (MAX2233)
  • Programmable RF Power Envelope Ramping (MAX2232)
  • Thermal Shutdown
  • Programmable Thermal Shutdown Timeout Period
  • 0.2µA Low-Power Shutdown Mode
  • Low ΔVSWR in Standby and Shutdown Modes


  • 868MHz European ISM Band
  • 900MHz ISM-Band Applications
  • Digital Cordless Phones
  • FM Analog Transmitters
  • Wireless Data
Part NumberFreq.
Efficiency (%)Low Pwr. ShutdnFootprint
(mm x mm)
minmaxSee Notes
MAX2232 80010002444Yes3.9 x 6.0
$2.23 @1k
MAX2233 -
$2.14 @1k
See All Power Amplifiers/Drivers (7)
Pricing Notes:
This pricing is BUDGETARY, for comparing similar parts. Prices are in U.S. dollars and subject to change. Quantity pricing may vary substantially and international prices may differ due to local duties, taxes, fees, and exchange rates. For volume-specific and version-specific prices and delivery, please see the price and availability page or contact an authorized distributor.

Technical Documents

Tutorial 5300 RF Basics
Tutorial 5100 General Layout Guidelines for RF and Mixed-Signal PCBs
Tutorial 4651 Web Seminar: Wireless Technology Tutorial

Quality and Environmental Data

Request Reliability Report for: MAX2232 
Lead-Free Package Tin (Sn) Whisker Reports

CAD Symbols and Footprints

  • MAX2232EEE+
  • MAX2232EEE+T
  • Device   Fab Process   Technology   Sample size   Rejects   FIT at 25°C   FIT at 55°C  

    Note : The failure rates are summarized by technology and mapped to the associated material part numbers. The failure rates are highly dependent on the number of units tested.

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