Peregrine Semiconductor Introduces UltraCMOS(R) Global 1, the Industry's First Reconfigurable RF Front-End System
Global 1 Features the First CMOS Power Amplifier to Deliver GaAs-Level Performance for LTE Devices
SAN DIEGO--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Peregrine Semiconductor Corp. today announces UltraCMOS Global 1, the first reconfigurable RF front end (RFFE). For the first time, 4G LTE platform providers and OEMs will be able to save time and money by creating a single-SKU design for global markets.
To support over 40 frequency bands and a more than 5,000-fold increase in the number of possible operating states, a truly reconfigurable RFFE is now a requirement. This level of reconfigurability is only feasible with a CMOS process. Global 1's entire system - multimode, multiband (MMMB) power amplifier (PA); post-PA switch; antenna switch; and antenna tuner - is based on Peregrine's UltraCMOS 10 technology platform. This platform leverages 25 years of RF expertise with proven performance demonstrated by more than 2 billion RF SOI units shipped. In addition, Global 1 features the industry's first LTE CMOS PA with the same raw performance as the leading gallium arsenide (GaAs) PAs and has a 33-percent efficiency increase over other CMOS PAs.
"For years RF engineers have been looking for an integrated, CMOS RF front-end offering that performs as well as GaAs for mobile devices," says Joe Madden, founder and principal analyst at Mobile Experts. "Peregrine's UltraCMOS technology has demonstrated GaAs-level efficiency performance at high power, which could be a game-changer."
Global 1 RFFE System
On a single chip, Peregrine's Global 1 RFFE system delivers the scalability to easily support higher band counts through low-loss switching and tunability; high isolation to solve interoperability issues; simple, digitally-controlled adaptation across modes and bands; and, most importantly, PA performance equivalent to GaAs.
The UltraCMOS Global 1 system's reconfigurable RFFE delivers:
- 3-path MMMB PA, post-PA switching, antenna switch and antenna tuner
- Support for envelope tracking
- Common RFFE MIPI interface
"Creating a global, single-SKU design for LTE devices is currently the toughest, unmet challenge in RF," says Jim Cable, CEO at Peregrine Semiconductor. "Peregrine was founded with a vision for integration, and, after shipping 2 billion switches and tuners, we are proud to announce a truly integrated RF front-end system that enables a single, global SKU."
UltraCMOS Global 1 PA Performance
Before now, no vendor has been able to deliver GaAs-level PA performance in a CMOS PA, which prevented CMOS PAs from competing in the performance-driven LTE handset market. The Global 1 system integrates Peregrine's established, best-in-class RF switches and tuners seamlessly with the first CMOS PA to match the performance of GaAs PAs. This level of performance is reached without enhancements from envelope tracking or digital predistortion, which is often used when benchmarking CMOS PAs with GaAs PAs.
A standard industry benchmark for PA performance is PAE (power-added efficiency) using a WCDMA (voice) waveform at an ACLR (adjacent channel leakage ratio) of -38 dBc. Under these conditions, the performance of the UltraCMOS Global 1 PA approaches 50-percent PAE. This is on par with the leading GaAs PAs and exceeds the performance of other CMOS PAs by 10 percentage points, which represents a 33-percent efficiency increase. Further, the UltraCMOS Global 1 PA maintains GaAs-equivalent PAE for LTE waveforms with varying resource-block allocations.
While the UltraCMOS Global 1 PA reaches GaAs-competitive performance levels without the use of envelope tracking, the system natively supports all major envelope tracking solutions currently on the market. The PAE at saturated power (PSAT) provides a good indication on what PAE is possible using an envelope tracking modulator; however, the efficiency enhancements that envelope tracking brings are very band specific. With an envelope tracker, the system efficiency of UltraCMOS Global 1 typically increases 10 percentage points, depending on band.
UltraCMOS Global 1 Benefits Everyone
According to Mobile Experts, the RFFE market is projected to grow from $6.1 billion in 2013 to $12.2 billion in 2018. Much of this growth stems from demand in the LTE market and the impact the RFFE has on the overall performance in mobile devices. The benefits of Global 1 extend far beyond RF engineers to affect the entire wireless ecosystem:
- Platform providers can develop a single reference platform, reducing reference design development costs and validation time.
- OEMs can design a single, global SKU, cutting R&D costs, accelerating time to market, streamlining supply chains and improving inventory management.
- Consumers can enjoy longer battery life, better reception, faster data rates and wider roaming range.
- Wireless operators can reduce capital investments in their network with improved RFFE performance, resulting in better coverage and reductions in dropped calls.
UltraCMOS Global 1 Availability
The UltraCMOS Global 1 PA will be demonstrated by appointment at Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Feb. 24-27, in Hospitality Suite Meeting Room 2A20MR. The UltraCMOS Global 1 system will complete platform integration in 2014 and will be in volume production in late 2015. For more detail, view the press kit.
USE OF FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release contains forward-looking statements regarding our management's future expectations, beliefs, intentions, goals, strategies, plans and prospects. Such statements constitute "forward-looking" statements which are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The achievement of the matters covered by such forward-looking statements involves risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If any of these risks or uncertainties materialize or if any of the assumptions prove incorrect, our actual results, performance or achievements could be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements.
Such risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, our dependence on a limited number of customers for a substantial portion of our revenues; intellectual property risks; intense competition in our industry; our ability to develop and introduce new and enhanced products on a timely basis and achieve market acceptance of those products; consumer acceptance of our customers' products that incorporate our solutions; our lack of long-term supply contracts and dependence on limited sources of supply; and potential decreases in average selling prices for our products.
For further information regarding risks and uncertainties associated with Peregrine's business, please refer to the filings that we make with the Securities and Exchange Commission from time to time, including those set forth in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in our Form 10-K for the year ended December 29, 2012 and additional information that will be set forth in our Form 10-K that will be filed for the year ended December 28, 2013, which should be read in conjunction with these financial results.
These documents are available on the SEC Filings section of the Investor Relations section of our website at http://investors.psemi.com/. Please also note that forward-looking statements represent our management's beliefs and assumptions only as of the date of this press release. Except as required by law, we assume no obligation to update these forward-looking statements publicly, or to update the reasons actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in the forward-looking statements, even if new information, becomes available in the future.