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RFMD's new GaN amplifier suitable for DOCSIS 3.1

Fri, 10/18/2013 - 1:33pm
Brian Santo

RFMD announced its first power doubler amplifier in a multi-chip module, designed specifically to support DOCSIS 3.1 specifications.

The new module, the RFCM3316, is a drop-in replacement to its predecessor, the RFCM2680. The device is built using a gallium nitride (GaN) substrate. Compared to standard amplifiers, GaN devices have higher output and gain.

MSOs can use the module to upgrade existing infrastructure to meet the power amplifier requirements of the new DOCSIS 3.1 standard, increasing effective downstream data rates from 160 Mbps to 10 Gbps, and upstream data rates from 120 Mbps to 1 Gbps when compared to DOCSIS 3.0.

The RFCM3316 operates from 40 MHz to 1.2 GHz. and provides an output level of 60 dBmV under a 1.2GHz channel loading with 10 BER and 42dB MER and -80dB CTB and -80dB CSO, the company said.

The new  modular, surface mount device saves about 50 percent in board space compared to traditional SOT115J packages, RFMD said, while maintaining excellent linearity and ruggedness.

Due to the efficient nature of the GaN process, the product can also operate at 20 percent less current than gallium arsenide-based (GaAs) products at a comparable distortion level.

The RFCM3316 is now sampling with key customers, the company said. Volume production is expected to begin in the first quarter of 2014.

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