Internally-matched broadband RF VGA with ultra-high linearity

November 14, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
IDT's F0480 simplifies design of the radio frequency variable gain amplifier function while making implementation more reliable

F0480 is an internally matched 400 to 2700 MHz broadband radio frequency (RF) variable gain amplifier (VGA) designed to deliver RF performance by combining IDT's “Glitch-Free” digital step attenuator, and Zero-Distortion technologies in a 5 x 5 mm package.

The chip offers better moisture sensitivity and protection from electrostatic discharge (ESD) for a more robust and reliable technology, than Gallium arsenide (GaAs) devices, which require external matching and can suffer from delayed secondary avalanching. It is suitable for such products as cellular 4G base stations, broadband repeaters, distributed antenna systems and microwave backhaul equipment.

The VGA has +41 dBm OIP3 with 13 dB of maximum gain, 23 dB gain control range with 1 dB step resolution, and a noise figure of 4 dB, all while consuming 100 mA from 5V. The F0480 has 2 kV ESD rating and a moisture sensitivity level (MSL) rating of 1, compared to MSL3 for competing GaAs devices. The device's flat gain slope vs. frequency counteracts board losses.