Programmable RF dual transceiver implements MIMO-on-a-chip

November 26, 2014 // By Graham Prophet
Lime Microsystems is shipping its second generation Field Programmable Radio Frequency (FPRF) devices. The FPRF contains dual transceivers that cover the frequency range 0.1 to 3800 MHz.

The fully programmable, low power chips cover all the cellular bands used in 2G, 3G and 4G networks, as well as many commercial and military bands. Parameters such as gain and filter bandwidth are also fully in-system programmable, making the device a highly flexible RF solution for a wide range of wireless applications.

Lime reports interest from applications spanning small cells, software defined radio (SDR), industrial networking, medical, test equipment and high end M2M such as asset tracking, and says that its pricing strategy will stimulate a range of new applications in variety of markets including commercial and military customers. The devices are supported by a Universal Wireless Communications Toolkit (UWCT) and will in the future be supplemented with a number of low cost development boards.

The dual transceivers are can implement Multiple-In, Multiple-Out (MIMO) systems with a digital bandwidth up to 60 MHz in each channel. The LMS7002M includes user-programmable DSP that can equalise the gain and phase of a MIMO system, or enhance the analogue filtering to provide lower power consumption. The low power chip uses a 65 nm CMOS process, and consumes 550 mW in single-in single-out (SISO) mode or 800 mW when configured for MIMO operation. The device can operate using a single 1.8V supply rail, and requires a minimum of external components.

LMS7002M is priced at $110 in sample quantities, and $63 for quantities of 5,000 units. Lime has also announced that it is reducing the price of the first generation part, LMS6002D, with samples starting at $35, and $15 for quantities of 5,000 units. LMS7002M devices and the UWCT are in stock at Digi-Key and Richardson RFPD. The free design software and projects data are downloads from the Lime website and an open-source initiative MyriadRF.

Lime Microsystems; www.limemicro.com/