Power Electronics

RF IC Supplier Enters DC-DC Converter Market

RF Micro Devices , a provider of proprietary radio frequency integrated circuits (RFICs), has entered the market for dc-dc converter power management components. The company has commenced shipments of its dc-dc converter ICs to a tier-one handset manufacturer for use in CDMA handsets.

The dc-dc converter ICs being shipped now are custom parts. However, in the future, the company plans to offer standard dc-dc converter chips, which will be derivatives of the current devices.

RFMD's dc-dc converters work with the company's RF power amplifiers (PAs) to reduce PA power consumption by approximately 50% in CDMA and WCDMA applications. To achieve these power savings, the dc-dc converter steps down the handset’s battery voltage to a lower value, which then is used to power the PA. Because the PA typically operates at low levels of RF output power in CDMA and WCDMA applications, a supply voltage lower than the battery voltage is usually sufficient to achieve the required RF output.

The dc-dc converters expand RFMD's addressable market and increase the company's content in wireless handsets as well as its silicon product portfolio.

RFMD's dc-dc converters provide approximately 90% efficiency over a wide output voltage range with minimal ripple. The dc-dc converters are designed using a low-cost silicon process and are packaged in a low-cost leadless package, measuring 3 mm × 3 mm.

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