NEW YORK-Texas Instruments, Dallas, announced June 8 the release of its new TRF3040 Modulator/Synthesizer, designed to make it easier and cheaper to manufacture lighter dual-band, dual-mode wireless handsets that use less power while roaming seamlessly throughout North America.

The modulator/synthesizer is designed for original equipment manufacturers developing wireless phones operating in the 900 MHz cellular and 1.9 GHz personal communications services bands. This is TI’s first product to be released from a new radio-frequency program it announced in December.

“A 2 GHz fractional-N synthesizer with a modulator and a driver amplifier within one integrated circuit is a significant development,” said Sam Pritchett, RF marketing manager of the company’s wireless communications unit for the Americas.

“We’re very proud of this product. It wasn’t as easy as falling off a log to develop it.”

The on-chip fractional-N synthesizer allows for faster lock-in times in the shifting frequency environment of roaming to achieve better performance during hand-offs, noted the company.

To minimize spectral regrowth (the noise that spreads from a signal’s carrier frequency to nearby frequencies), the TRF 3040 employs a high degree of variable gain amplifier linearity. This feature will permit OEMs to meet spectral purity requirements while using transmit power amplifiers that cost less, have lower performance capabilities and, in many instances, use less power.

Typical operation at 3.75 volts and 150 milliamps keeps power requirements low, and a sleep mode brings power-down current to less than 2 mA.

Another power consumption reduction capability afforded by the TRF3040 is its low spurious content. This phrase refers to the unwanted signal noise resulting from frequency mixing, which RF systems must do to translate baseband encoded voice and data so they are compatible with cellular and PCS systems.

Low spurious content can save OEMs money in two ways, allowing them to meet standards while using cheaper filter components and power amplifiers while also simplifying design processes.

Several companies already have received samples of the product, Pritchett said. Evaluation boards, which OEMs can use in their own laboratories to measure performance in a controlled environment, are planned for release in August. Volume production also is scheduled for the third quarter of this year.


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