Tiny analog front ends shrink test and measurement, wireless communications, and optical networking systems

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Texas Instruments Incorporated has introduced two analog front ends (AFEs) that provide low power, high performance and space savings for test and measurement, wireless communications and optical networking equipment. The AFE7071 is a complete radio transmitter that reduces board space by up to 80 percent compared to discrete implementations. It integrates a dual digital-to-analog converter (DAC), tunable baseband filters, IQ modulator and digital quadrature modulation correction circuit.

The AFE7070 adds a direct digital synthesizer (DDS) with 32-bit numerically controlled oscillator (NCO) and LVDS output buffer. For more information and to order samples of these new AFEs

Key features and benefits of the AFE7070 and AFE7071

• Highly integrated: Providing a dual 14-bit, 65-MSPS DAC, programmable low-pass filter and RF IQ modulator with an RF output range of 100 MHz to 2700 MHz in a single device simplifies design and reduces board space.

• Small size: 7-mm x 7-mm package with multiplexed CMOS input is 80-perent smaller than typical discrete solutions to enable compact or mobile designs, such as small-cell base stations and portable test and measurement equipment.

• Flexible RF output: The devices are tunable from 100 MHz to 2700 MHz with output power up to 0.3 dBm to accommodate a wide range of frequencies and maximize system flexibility.

• High performance, low power: Adjacent channel power ratio is 66 dB with 5-MHz WCDMA and 61 dB with 20-MHz LTE at 2.1 GHz while using only 325 mW, more than 50 percent lower than discrete designs.

• Low output noise floor: 156 dBm/Hz enables high signal quality.

Additional features and benefits of the AFE7070

• Space-efficient, cost-effective: Direct digital synthesis with 32-bit NCO and LVDS output buffer for frequency translation. This enables space-efficient designs by reducing interface lines and components while providing a cost-effective method for optical time alignment and arbitrary waveform generation.

• Simplifies design: Integrated 800-MHz LVDS output can be used in a clock phase-locked loop (PLL) to drive the pre-scaler, eliminating the need for a separate analog-to-LVDS converter.

• Configurable digital input: Can accept input data as a 14-bit complex value or 16-bit NCO phase value for constant amplitude modulation.

Availability and pricing

The AFE7070 and AFE7071 are both available today in a 7-mm by 7-mm QFN package. Suggested retail pricing in 1,000-unit quantities is US$11.90 for the AFE7071 and US$23.75 for the AFE7070.

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