Article | February 28, 2014

Multimode Multiband PAs: Solving Front End Challenges Through Integration

Source: TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc.

RF Front End Module Design: Challenges And Solutions

There is an overwhelming consensus among the scientific community that we are in the middle of the next technological revolution, the latest being guided by wireless communication. From the first generation of wireless devices, which had simple radio designs and were meant for voice communication only, we have come a long way to the current era of high-end, data-intensive smartphones. The present day wireless devices have incredibly fast and ubiquitous communication capabilities attained by the use of highly intricate technologies that support multiple transmit and receive paths. From the times when high quality voice communication was a challenge, today, we are already steaming live videos, staying connected with friends 24X7 through social networks, and playing high-end network-based games on small devices that fit in our palms. With the way technology is progressing under the influence of rapid competition among wireless device manufactures, future possibilities seem endless.

While the end users are enjoying unprecedented power in their hands, ruthless competition has forced wireless device manufacturers, also referred to as original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) in this paper, to look for innovative options. To maintain a competitive edge, OEMs are pushing for functional components that are smaller and more cost-effective, all while maintaining utmost quality. One such critical component is the radio frequency front end. In this paper, we discuss the challenges facing radio frequency (RF) front end manufacturers and integration efforts in the front end industry, and we provide some technological and application-based insights on the next generation of integrated modules called multimode multiband power amplifiers (MMPAs).