With the integration of Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology into its multi-chip module platform, NXP has hit the major industry milestone for 5G energy efficiency. The company claims to increase the lineup efficiency of the multi-chip modules to 52% at 2.6GHz which is 8 percentage points higher than the preceding modules. The proprietary combination of silicon-based LDMOS and GaN in a single device delivering 400MHz of instantaneous bandwidth will help improve the performance and enable designers to create wideband radios with a single power amplifier.
The increased efficiency and wideband performance in a small footprint of the 5G multi-chip modules help in reducing the size and weight of radio units enabling mobile network operators to lower the cost of deploying 5G on cellular towers and rooftops.
These modules integrate a multi-stage transmit chain, 50Ω in/out matching networks, and a Doherty combiner in a single package. Additionally, the company plans to add bias control using its latest silicon-germanium (SiGe) technology thus eliminating the need for a separate analog control IC. Furthermore, it will provide tighter monitoring and optimization of power amplifier performance.
The new devices released by the company are pin-to-pin compatible. Using these modules, the RF engineers can rapidly scale a single power amplifier design across multiple frequency bands and power levels, thereby reducing design cycle time and accelerating the roll-out of 5G around the globe. The new 5G multi-chip modules will sample in the third quarter of 2021, with production scheduled to start later this year. The devices will be supported by NXP’s new RapidRF series of RF front-end board designs for further accelerating the 5G system designs.