Nujira releases new 16-band ET RF front-end to support global LTE handsets

February 11, 2013 // By Paul Buckley
Nujira Ltd has released its new 'Woodstock' 16-band Multi-Mode, Multi-Band (MMMB) ET reference design for 4G smartphone RF Front Ends.

Using Nujira's NCT-L1200 ET chip, the reference design overcomes the energy efficiency and frequency band challenges faced by mobile operators and handset OEMs since the introduction of 4G. Covering up to 16 frequency bands from 700 MHz to 2.7 GHz in a PCB area of less than 200 mm2, Nujira's ET reference design delivers state-of-the-art multi-band 2G, 3G and 4G performance, using less PCB area and battery power than today's 3G smartphones.     

Mobile handset developers are currently faced with a number of RF engineering challenges. They need to simultaneously support different operating modes (e.g. LTE, TD-LTE, WCDMA, HSPA and GSM) in one handset, while also supporting an increasing number of frequency bands. LTE is today deployed worldwide in 20 frequency bands from 700 MHz to 2.7 GHz, which today each require a dedicated PA and RF filter.     

With this discrete design approach, up to nine variants of some popular smartphone models are required to cover all regions and operators. This results in increased design and verification effort, numerous production runs, delayed product rollouts and a complicated, costly inventory management process.     

With the Woodstock reference design, Nujira claims to overcome the challenges and provides a highly integrated solution for global 3G/4G terminals. Incorporating a multi-mode, multi-band ET Power Amplifier (PA), a broadband 2.3-2.7 GHz ET PA, and an additional region- or operator-specific LTE ET PA, the design ensures maximum frequency band coverage and energy efficiency at minimal costs. By enabling handsets to operate on almost all worldwide 3G and 4G bands, Nujira's new reference design reduces the need for numerous regional product variants.     

The Woodstock design integrates Nujira's NCT-L1200 Envelope Tracking supply modulator with PA devices, switches and filters from a number of Tier 1 suppliers, providing handset manufacturers with a complete solution from transceiver to antenna. Nujira's ET modulator enables the handset to deliver full power to the antenna port, maximising coverage and boosting data rates,