SiGe transceivers for mm-wave wireless backhaul

April 17, 2013 // By Graham Prophet
Infineon has introduced a family of single-chip transceiver ICs that simplify design of small cell backhaul links, easing system design and production logistics by replacing more than 10 discrete devices.

Due to their low power consumption the single-chip high-integration transceivers also help to reduce fixed expenses in high data rate millimeter wave wireless backhaul communication systems. The new transceivers address the market for wireless data links with data rates of more than 1 Gbps between LTE/4G base stations and core networks. Devices in the BGTx0 product family come in a standard plastic package and replace more than 10 discrete devices used in current system designs with one single chip. The customers’ assembly process can continue to use a standard SMT assembly flow. The BGTx0 family provides a complete radio frequency (RF) front-end for wireless communication in 57-64 GHz, 71-76 GHz, or 81-86 GHz millimeter wave bands. Paired with a baseband/modem, the system solution requires less space, offers improved reliability and lower cost for the critical wireless backhaul links needed in mobile base stations that support LTE/4G networks.

“The V- and E-band microwave frequencies available for LTE/4G backhaul support data rates three times higher than in earlier generation networks. Correspondingly they need superior RF performance to meet operating requirements,” said Philipp von Schierstaedt, Vice President and General Manager of the Business Line RF & Protection Devices at Infineon Technologies. The BGTx0 transceivers integrate all of the RF building blocks – I/Q modulator, Voltage Controlled Oscillator (VCO), Power Amplifier (PA), Low Noise Amplifier (LNA), Programmable Gain Amplifier (PGA), SPI control interface and more – on a single chip in a compact, plastic eWLB package (embedded Wafer Level Ball Grid Array). Validation and calibration of RF performance occurs in production using Built-In-Self-Test (BIST), which contributes to the simplicity of integrating the chip into a device builder’s production flow.

RF performance of SiGe (silicon-germanium) technology includes deliverable output power up to 18 dBm of PA, low noise figure of 6 dB of LNA and VCO phase noise better than -85dBc/Hz at 100 kHz offset – allows a system designer to implement high modulation schemes