Microchip’s 5 GHz RF Power Amplifier for New IEEE 802.11ac Wi-Fi® Standard Delivers Low EVM at High Power for WLAN Applications

Microchip Technology Inc., a leading provider of microcontroller, analog and Flash-IP solutions, today announced the expansion of its RF portfolio with the new SST11CP16 5 GHz power amplifier (PA).  This PA supports the new IEEE 802.11ac ultra high data rate Wi-Fi® standard for 351 Mbps with 1.8% Error Vector Magnitude (EVM) at 19 dBM output power, enabling a longer range.  Additionally, the SST11CP16 provides low operating current of 360 mA at 22 dBm, which enables more transmission channels at a higher data rate, per system.  To conserve space, this PA is offered in a 3x3x.45 mm, 16-pin QFN package.

In-Stat predicts that one billion 802.11ac products will ship by 2015.  The SST11CP16’s low EVM and high linear power provide an attractive option for set-top boxes, routers, access points and other Wi-Fi devices that require data rates of up to 3 Gbps for applications such as wireless streaming video.  Additional features of this new PA include a 50 ohm on-chip input match and simple output match for ease of use and smaller board sizes.  Additionally, the SST11CP16 includes a linear power detector that is temperature-stable and insensitive to voltage standing wave ratios.

“The SST11CP16 builds on Microchip’s industry-leading portfolio of InGap/GaAs HBT-based power amplifiers by providing high output power with extra-low EVM and the same reliable operation over temperature,” said Daniel Chow, vice president of Microchip’s Radio Frequency Division.  “In conjunction with high-efficiency operation, this new power amplifier can significantly extend the range of 802.11ac systems.”

Existing 802.11 standards can also take advantage of the SST11CP16’s features, at the following performance rates:
  •     802.11a:  3% added EVM for 54 Mbps at 22 dBm; spectrum-mask compliant up to 25.5 dBm using Orthogonal Frequency-Division Multiplexing
  •     802.11n:  Spectrum-mask compliant up to 24.5 dBm using High-Throughput 20 Mhz mode

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