Base station power efficiency boosted by MIMO linearizer

May 18, 2016 // By Graham Prophet
Maxim Integrated’s SC2200 dual-path RF power amplifier linearizer – RFPAL – can singnificantly improve the system efficiency of base stations, and lead to lower power, size and cost associated with the RF front-end/PA.

The linearizer enables power amplifiers to consume up to 70% less power compared to operation in back-off. In addition, it reduces the bill of materials (BOM) cost by up to 50%, and is up to 8x smaller than other digital pre-distortion (DPD) solutions on the market. The SC2200 application, which occupies less than 1 square inch of board space, substantially increases power amplifier efficiency while consuming less than 1.5W when both paths are fully operational.


The SC2200 is a superior alternative to the inefficient method of operating power amplifiers in back-off, and is preferred over DPD since it requires no software or complex algorithm development. It features an integrated pre-amp and a single 1.8V supply, and works optimally for a wide range of power amplifier architectures, technologies, and power levels. The linearizer is suitable for 2G, 3G, and 4G systems, including TD-LTE and FD-LTE. It is suitable for cellular infrastructure applications such as macro and small cell base stations, distributed antenna systems (DAS), active antenna systems (AAS), remote radio heads, and other multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) systems.


Designs using the device, Maxim says, can deliver improved performance, meeting stringent spectral emission and error vector magnitude (EVM) regulatory requirements, while consuming up to 70% less power compared to a 37 dBm power amplifier operated in back-off.

In an 11 x 11 mm SAWN QFN package and specified over the -40 °C to +100 °C temperature range, the part also has evaluation kits available: SC2200-EVK900, SC2200-EVK1900 and SC2200-EVK2400. A video clip is here.


Maxim Integrated;