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Tiny LNAs enhance GPS signal reception

June 25, 2012 // Christoph Hammerschmidt

Tiny LNAs enhance GPS signal reception

NXP Semiconductors has unveiled what it claims to be the tiniest GPS LNA on the market today. The BGU8006 low-noise amplifier is designed for very small portable devices. Available in a space-saving tiny WLCSP (wafer-level chip-scale package), the GPS LNAs have a footprint of just 0.65 x 0.44 x 0.2 mm and require only two external components, saving 38 percent in PCB space compared to the smallest solution on the market today. Also featuring an extremely low noise figure of 0.60 dB, the LNAs offer the best reception for weak GPS signals by dynamically suppressing strong cellular and WLAN transmit signals.


Smartphones, tablets, personal navigation devices and automotive telematics applications all suffer from communication delays when network reception is poor, and have to wait for data to refresh as the GPS searches for satellite signal, said Erick Olsen, marketing director, RF small signal product line, NXP Semiconductors. The new BGU8006 LNA helps to maintain optimal GPS signal reception for as long as possible, he added. 


The BGU8006 LNA uses adaptive biasing techniques – enabled by NXP's QuBIC4Xi SiGe:C BiCMOS process technology – to instantly detect any output power from jammers, and compensate by temporarily increasing the current. Adaptive biasing dynamically suppresses strong cellular, WLAN and Bluetooth signals, which can drive typical GPS LNAs into compression, lowering gain, generating intermodulation and harmonics that can overpower weak signals, and causing poor GPS reception. With the BGU8006, adaptive biasing improves linearity with a 10 dB better IP3 under -40 to -20 dBm jamming conditions and provides effective GPS output with jammer power up to -15 dBm. 


The BGU8006 LNA uses wafer-level chip-scale package (WLCSP) technology, which is ideal for space-constrained applications. WLCSP minimizes parasitic inductance because there are no leads, bond wires or interposer connections, and optimizes package size, cost and thermal characteristics. In addition to the BGU8006, NXP also offers the BGU8007 LNA in a 1.45 x 1.0 x 0.5-mm 6-pin leadless SOT886 package. Both LNAs require only one external matching inductor and one external decoupling capacitor for easy design-in and savings in component costs and PCB area. 


NXP’s BGU800x series LNAs are suited for a wide range of applications using GPS technology today, including smartphones, feature phones, personal navigation devices (PNDs), and complete GPS chipset modules. For automotive telematics applications such as emergency call (eCall) and toll collection systems, NXP also offers the BGU7004 and BGU7008, which are AEC-Q100 qualified. 


The BGU8007 LNA is currently available. Qualification samples of the BGU8006 will be available in Q3, with volume production during Q4 2012. 


For more information visit  http://www.nxp.com/pip/BGU8006

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