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How Do We Customize Amplifier Performance with Only Packaging?

OCTOBER 1, 2018

The GRF4004 is a high-linearity driver with low noise. It is fabricated in a 250 nm E-mode pHEMT process and packaged in GRF’s standard 1.5 mm DFN-6. For applications above 1500 MHz which require high input-referenced linearity and very low noise, it is ideal. However, for sub-1 GHz applications, its high gain degrades the input-referenced P1dB and IP3.

 

So, if we want to quickly modify the GRF4004, how could we do that? Is there an easy way to change the device packaging so that we can create a GRF4004 derivative product optimized for a different frequency band?

 
 
In the above example, the improvement in input-referenced linearity of GRF2114 compared to its parent device is significant, thus highlighting one of the primary methods we use to optimize for one particular frequency range over another. For a given MMIC die, the device packaging and internal bond wire configuration make significant contributions to the performance of the device.

As always, Guerrilla RF’s application engineering team stands ready to assist you with your design and applications needs. Our goal is to make using our parts as easy as possible. We welcome customer suggestions for new devices. Many products in our current portfolio are the direct result of customer requests. What can we design for you?

Contact us at applications@guerrilla-rf.com with any questions!
 

Why Is the DFN-6 Package So Magnificent? Part 2

AUGUST 30, 2018

As we discussed in last month's newsletter, the Guerrilla RF DFN-6 portfolio currently offers a growing tool kit of 20+ devices which employ an identical package, pin out and layout. Selecting a different device and changing a component value, or sometimes placing or not placing a specific matching component, opens up a wide range of gain, NF, linearity and bypass options. The following example will provide a practical demonstration of the design capability offered by this portfolio:

Initial Performance Requirement
Frequency: 2500 MHz
Gain: >= 14.0 dB
Max. NF: <= 1.0 dB
OP1dB: >= 21.0 dBm
OIP3: >= 32.0 dBm
Iddq: <= 80 mA
Vdd: 5.0 V
Bypass Capability: No
 
Initial Solution: GRF4002             
Gain: 15.0 dB                 
NF: 0.85 dB
OP1dB: 23.5 dBm
OIP3: 34.0 dBm
Iddq: 70 mA
Bypass: No
 
For the given initial requirements, GRF4002 has proven to be an excellent solution. But let's say the system dynamic range requirements change and it is determined that your LNA must offer a low-loss bypass capability which GRF4002 does not provide; the other RF requirements remain unchanged. Luckily, thanks to the breadth of the Guerrilla RF DFN-6 portfolio, a drop-in solution to the new requirement exists and it is called GRF4142.
 
Revised Solution with Bypass: GRF4142            
Gain: 14.5 dB                            
NF: 0.95 dB
OP1dB: 22.5 dBm
OIP3: 33.0 dBm
Iddq: 70 mA
Bypass: Yes
 

The example above showed how a completely new performance capability (bypass) could be accommodated by a single layout using the Guerrilla RF DFN-6 layout and general purpose schematic. The need to revise the layout for a new part/package was avoided.

Following is an example of how this same layout can be used for a different frequency band, with significantly different RF performance targets. For this example, the goal is to find a single, ultra-high gain LNA to reduce a cascaded lineup of two amplifiers — down to a single device for cost and layout purposes.

Performance Requirements:
Frequency: 1900 MHz
Gain: >= 26.0 dB
Max. NF: <= 1.0 dB
OP1dB: >= 18.0 dBm
OIP3: >= 30.0 dBm
Iddq: <= 80 mA
Vdd: 5.0 V
Bypass Capability: No
 
Solution: GRF2133        Gain: 28.0 dB

NF: 0.6 dB
OP1dB: 20.0 dBm
OIP3: 31.0 dBm
Iddq: 60 mA

This is yet another example of the design capability offered by the portfolio of 1.5 mm DFN-6 devices. As mentioned above, this family consists of 20+ devices with new devices being added every few months.

Regardless of your application requirements, the Guerrilla RF applications engineering team is happy to help recommend the optimal solution for you. Contact us at applications@guerrilla-rf.com with any questions!


Why Is the DFN-6 Package So Magnificent? Part 1

JULY 27, 2018

At Guerrilla RF, we are constantly adding to our portfolio of 1.5 mm DFN-6 devices. Currently, there are more than 20 amplifier devices in this family - offering a wide variety of gain, NF, linearity and bypass options.

Why do we put so many of our amplifiers into the same package? Simple. It gives our customers maximum flexibility. Common package means common board layout and common application schematics. The DFN-6 is a leadframe based package known for high reliability, a factory-friendly MSL1 rating and RoHS compliance.

When your specs change, and you know they will, just select a new device which more closely matches the new requirements without needing to re-layout your system board. Now that's flexibility!
 
Take a look at all of our devices currently using this common package and pinout:

 

Device

Reference
V/mA/GHz

Gain
(dB)

NF
(dB)

OP1dB
(dBm)

OIP3
(dBm)

Tuning Range
(GHz)

VDD Range
(volts)

IDDQ Range
(mA)

Comments

GRF2003

5.0/55/5.5

12.0

3.5

15.0

29.0

0.1 to 10.0

2.7 to 5.0

40 to 80

 

GRF2004

5.0/100/4.0

16.5

1.9

18.0

31.0

0.1 to 10.0

2.7 to 5.0

60 to 120

 

GRF2012

5.0/90/0.9

14.8

2.7

23.0

40.0

0.05 to 3.8

2.7 to 5.0

15 to 100

 

GRF2013

5.0/90/1.9

18.5

1.3

22.5

38.5

0.05 to 8.0

2.7 to 5.0

15 to 100

 

GRF2014

5.0/150/0.9

15.9

3.4

24.0

43.5

0.05 to 3.8

2.7 to 5.0

50 to 180

 

GRF2093*  

5.0/70/2.5

21.0

0.38

19.0

36.0

1.0 to 6.0

2.7 to 5.0

20 to 100

 

GRF2100

3.3/15/2.5

16.5

0.8

10.0

19.0

0.1 to 3.8

1.8 to 5.0

8 to 30

 

GRF2105

5.0/70/2.5

20.5

0.75

22.5

37.0

0.4 to 5.0

2.7 to 5.0

20 to 90

 

GRF2106*  

3.3/15/2.5

20.5

0.8

12.0

26.0

0.1 to 4.2

1.8 to 5.0

10 to 40

 

GRF2133

5.0/60/1.9

28.5

0.65

20.0

31.0

0.1 to 2.7

2.7 to 5.0

35 to 160

 

GRF2140

3.3/15/1.9

18.0

1.1

9.3

20.0

0.1 to 3.8

1.8 to 5.0

8 to 30

Bypass Mode

GRF2373

3.3/15/1.9

18.5

1.3

13.5

25. 0

0.1 to 3.8

2.7 to 5.0

10 to 25

 

GRF2374

3.3/15/1.9

16.5

1.3

10.0

22.0

0.1 to 3.8

2.7 to 5.0

10 to 25

Bypass Mode

GRF2505

5.0/40/5.5

12.5

1.2

19.0

30.0

4.0 to 6.0

1.8 to 5.0

20 to 60

 

GRF4001

3.3/45/2.5

15.5

0.9

16.5

30.5

0.1 to 6.0

1.8 to 3.6

15 to 50

 

GRF4002

5.0/70/1.9

17.5

0.80

23.5

36.0

0.1 to 3.8

1.8 to 5.0

20 to 80

 

GRF4003

5.0/95/1.9

15

0.80

24.5

41.0

0.1 to 3.8

1.8 to 5.0

20 to 120

 

GRF4004

5.0/135/1.9

14.5

0.80

26.0

43.0

0.1 to 3.8

1.8 to 5.0

30 to 150

 

GRF4005

5.0/170/1.9

15.0

0.80

26.5

42.0

0.1 to 3.8

1.8 to 5.0

50 to 200

 

GRF4014

5.0/60/2.5

16.5

0.80

24.3

39.0

0.1 to 6.0

2.7 to 8.0

30 to 120

 

GRF4142

3.3/50/1.9

15.3

0.90

19.3

33.0

0.1 to 3.8

1.8 to 5.0

15 to 80

Bypass Mode

 

* Coming Soon!

 

 

The above application schematic can accommodate most devices in this group over most frequency bands. New DFN-6 parts are being added to this family every month.

The Guerrilla RF applications engineering team is ready to assist you with custom matching, schematics, data collection and BOM recommendations. Contact us at applications@guerrilla-rf.com with any questions!
 
Next Month: In Part 2, we'll look at real-world examples of the design capabilities of these DFN-6 products. Stay tuned!


Legendary Product: GRF4002 Broadband LNA

JUNE 8, 2018

At Guerrilla RF, we've created a portfolio of RF devices that offer high levels of performance combined with flexibility. Our devices are usable in a wide range of applications and frequencies. 

The GRF4002 exemplifies these characteristics. It features outstanding linearity, low NF, bias flexibility, and a wide range of tuning solutions. The GRF4002 has found its way into a number of high-volume applications and the Guerrilla RF applications engineering team is constantly coming up with new ways to deploy it.

Recently we had a customer ask us to tune up a GRF4002 for high linearity and low NF over a decade of bandwidth from 80 to 800 MHz. Take a look at what we were able to achieve.

Below is a VNA screenshot of the custom-tuned GRF4002 evaluation board. Note the broadband return losses and relatively flat gain over 80 to 800 MHz. If we varied Vdd over a range from 1.8 to 5.0 volts, the s-parameter traces would change very little. They are largely unaffected by the device Iddq, with only a slight change in gain as Iddq is varied from 20 mA to 80 mA.

 

 

The two charts below highlight the broadband linearity of GRF4002 at 5.0 and 3.3 volts. Note the low variation in OP1dB and OIP3 over the application bandwidth. This consistent performance is a hallmark of the GRF4002, regardless of the particular tune. It is also characteristic of our pHEMT amplifiers in general.

 

 

The next two charts display the NF (SMA to SMA) and drain efficiency (measured at the output compression point) for the tuned board. NF is only presented for 5.0 volts and 70 mA, but it is essentially independent of Vdd over the 1.8 to 5.0 Volt range. NF holds up well as Iddq drops below 20 to 25 mA. Drain efficiency hovers around 50% over the band. The high gain, low NF, and strong linearity at lower frequencies suggest that the GRF4002 can be implemented as an excellent IF amplifier, in addition to an LNA or linear driver.

 

 

GRF4002 is in full production and is pin/layout compatible with more than 20 devices using our standard  1.5 x 1.5 mm DFN-6 plastic RoHS package. Evaluation boards and samples are available now.

The measured data shown above is typical of the tuning and data collection we perform on behalf of our customers on a regular basis. We will be happy to do so for you as well! 

 


Do You Need a Go-To Amplifier?

MAY 21, 2018

As a radio designer, it’s nice to have a go-to amplifier that you can use and reuse for a wide range of application frequencies, linearity requirements, bias voltages and currents. The GRF2013, part of Guerrilla RF’s standard DFN-6 portfolio, is a device that you can turn to over and over again for a wide variety of requirements.
Key Strengths of GRF2013:
  • Outstanding RF performance  over a wide range of bias conditions
  • Flexible biasing: Vdd can range over 2.7 to 5.0 volts with Iddq adjustable from 15 to 100 mA
  • Internally pre-matched to 50 ohms. A single set of external components yields multi-octave bandwidths from 50 MHz to 4 GHz and beyond
  • Automotive qualification coming soon
  • Part of GRF’s 1.5 mm DFN-6 portfolio, which offers over 20 devices using the same package, pin out, and layout

The GRF2013 data sheet focuses on 700 to 3800 MHz performance at 5.0 volts and 90 mA Iddq. However, this amplifier also excels below 1 GHz with a 3.0 volt power supply (see charts below). Notice the flat gain, NF and linearity over the measured 200 to 500 MHz band.

 

 
 

 

GRF2013 is in full production and is pin/layout compatible with more than 20 devices using our standard 1.5 x 1.5 mm DFN-6 plastic package. Evaluation boards and samples are available now.

Guerrilla RF is committed to providing the high performance RF solutions you need in the long term, and we will be pleased to provide the applications support you need to successfully implement any of our devices.


How Do I Improve Gain Flatness Without Sacrificing Return Loss?

APRIL 13, 2018

Your broadband application requires a highly efficient, linear driver that features superior gain flatness with excellent return losses over the band. The return loss requirement prevents the use of mismatch at the low end of the band to flatten the gain, so what do you do?
 
Since the requirement is for a driver, the noise figure (NF) is typically not critical, so there is freedom to tweak the input matching to flatten the gain. Gain will be highest at the low end of the band, so the challenge becomes how to selectively reduce the low frequency gain more than the high frequency gain while maintaining good return losses.
 
A frequency selective resistive load on the device input will do just that. Below is an s-parameter screenshot of the GRF4003 LNA/Driver optimized for 400 to 1000 MHz, or a fractional bandwidth of about 85%.

 

As you can see, the output return loss is very good across the band, but the input return loss is only around -8.5 dB and the gain roll-off is almost 5 dB.

The evaluation board schematic shows the driver solution with a shunt RL added to the device input. This configuration selectively loads the low end of the band more than the high end, so it should enhance the gain flatness with an S(1,1) improvement as well. 

Below are the evaluation board results using the frequency selective resistive loading on the input. Notice how both the gain flatness and the input return losses are both improved significantly.

 

Had this been an LNA application instead of a transmit driver, the shunt RL network could have simply been placed on the output side of the device with no impact on the input-referenced linearity. Due to the high gain of the device, this resistive loading on the output would have resulted in essentially no noise figure degradation.


How Can I Get Low Noise And Good Matching?

MARCH 13, 2018

If your receiver lineup must have the lowest possible cascaded noise figure (NF), then Guerrilla RF’s GRF207X or GRF208X low noise amplifier (LNA) families will provide the ultra-low noise and high gain you need in a standard DFN-8 package and pinout.
 
One challenge with cascading ultra-low noise amplifiers with high Q filters is the impedance matching. To achieve optimal passband and out-of-band responses, these filters often need to be terminated with an impedance close to 50 ohms or, equivalently, with a return loss >15 dB.
 
Ultra-low noise LNAs are typically presented with standard matches in their data sheets that optimize NF at the expense of return loss. The architecture of these LNAs also dictates that changes to their input matches strongly affect their output matches, and vice-versa. Attempting to reactively match the output for better S(2,2) will tend to disturb the input match and may even make it worse. Fortunately, there is a simple way around this problem.
 
Resistive loading can be added to the output match. The resistance will improve the output return loss while allowing the input to be matched with a high Q reactive network for improved S(1,1) and optimal NF. The loading can take the form of either a shunt R, series R, or a resistive Pi or T pad.
To the right is an example of an improved return loss schematic for our ultra-low noise GRF2071. The high Q shunt L on the input side improves S(1,1) while the 500 Ohm resistor in parallel with the bias inductor increases S(2,2).
Negatives of this approach are that the device gain and output linearity are reduced by the loss of the resistor. For a high gain LNA, this resistive loss will have negligible impact on the noise figure. It should be noted that since the resistive loss occurs on the output side of the transistor, the input referenced linearity is relatively unaffected. An additional benefit of the resistive loading is that the stability margin of the amplifier is improved.
 
How much noise figure do we give up with this approach? For today’s ultra-low noise pHEMT LNAs, matching for a high input return loss of perhaps 20 dB with high Q inductors and capacitors will typically result in a noise figure penalty of less than 0.2 dB.

And You Thought the GRF2501 Was Impressive?

FEBRUARY 9, 2018

Guerrilla GRF2101 Image.gif


The GRF2501 is a world-class WLAN low noise amplifier, but there is a new product that extends our WLAN dominance - the GRF2101.

It offers higher gain, lower NF, better linearity andlower cost. The GRF2101 only requires 1 resistor to set the desired Iddq, and 3 capacitors to provide DC blocking, matching and bias de-coupling.

Take a look at the performance of the GRF2101. With the device biased at 3.3 V and 18 mA, noise figure and gain truly shine.

The GRF2101 is pin compatible with the GRF2501 in an industry-standard 1.5 x 1.5 mm DFN-6 plastic package.

Evaluation boards are available now! 

Questions? Contact us at applications@guerrilla-rf.com.


Surprised by Avago/Broadcom EOL? We've Got You Covered!

JANUARY 19, 2018

Have you been affected by Avago/Broadcom’s sweeping Obsolescence Notification? To help you, we've put together a comprehensive...

Suggested Replacements List

With potential replacements for over 100 different Avago products, we are ready to help you during this major transition!

Please contact us at applications@guerrilla-rf.com for further assistance.

 


Need to Swap Out Amplifiers in a Common Footprint? No Problem!

JANUARY 10, 2018

With a single, compact layout, you now have access to a wide breadth of RF capability. Product obsolescence? System requirements change? Simply select a different component and move forward. In an ultra-small 1.5 mm DFN-6 package, Guerrilla RF offers a modular RF design system featuring almost 20 devices.

With a single footprint/pinout, you simply need to populate the components required by a particular device. These devices include single and multi-stage amplifiers with a wide variety of gain, NF, linearity, bypass capability and price points to give you ultimate design flexibility.

Flexible supply voltage and current allow for additional performance tradeoffs.

GRF2003 

Broadband Gain Block to X-Band

GRF3042 

Broadband Gain Block to X-Band

GRF2004

Broadband Gain Block to X-Band

GRF3044

Broadband Gain Block to X-Band

GRF2012

Flat Gain, High Linearity Gain Block

GRF4001

Broadband LNA/Linear Driver

GRF2013

Flat Gain, High Linearity Gain Block

GRF4002

Broadband LNA/High Linearity Driver

GRF2014

Flat Gain, High Linearity Gain Block

GRF4003

Broadband LNA/High Linearity Driver

GRF2100

Low NF, Low Current Amplifier

GRF4004

Broadband LNA/High Linearity Driver

GRF2133

Ultra-high Gain, Low NF Amplifier

GRF4005

Broadband LNA/High Linearity Driver

GRF2140

Low NF, Low Current Amplifier/Bypass 

GRF4014

High Gain, High Linearity, Low NF

GRF2505

Linear Driver/ LNA for C-Band/ 
5 GHz WLAN

GRF4142

Broadband LNA/High Linearity Driver/Bypass

In the coming months, we'll be adding several new 1.5mm DFN-6 devices, giving you even more options. Guerrilla RF remains committed to providing the high performance RF solutions you need, and we are pleased to provide the applications support you need to successfully implement any of our devices.

Please contact us at applications@guerrilla-rf.com!
 


What Is the Quickest Way to Find Your Ideal Amplifier?

DECEMBER 8, 2017

At GRF, applications support is a core competency and focus. We provide detailed support for our customers from initial device selection through prototype evaluation and production ramp. For initial device selection, customer system requirements will determine the radio architecture and the performance goals for each radio section.

Guerrilla Amplifier Image.pngTo select the ideal amplifier device, all critical specs must be considered together. These include:

  • Application Bandwidth (Min and Max Frequency)
  • Gain
  • Gain Flatness and Associated Return Loss
  • Min OP1dB
  • Min OIP3
  • Max NF
  • Bypass Capability
  • Preferred/Available Supply Voltages
  • Max Iddq
  • Operating Temperature
  • Target Cost and Associated Estimated Annual Usage

If you want to find an amplifier as quickly as possible, then provide as many of the above requirements as possible when contacting our applications group. With this information, we can promptly recommend the ideal solution from our device portfolio.

An additional step you can take to expedite the process is rank the above parameters in order of relative importance. This ranking will allow us to manage the usual performance tradeoffs.

Our goal is to provide the most cost-effective, efficient solution that provides the required margin to all your key specifications. We look forward to assisting you with all your current and future design challenges!

Contact us at applications@guerrilla-rf.com