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Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia Pte Ltd

Fujitsu Launches Multimode, Multiband RF Transceiver IC

Eliminates external SAW filters, LNA, for compact solution

Singapore, September 16, 2009  — Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia Pte Ltd (FMAL) today announced the first product in its entry into the mobile phone RF transceiver market, in launching a RF transceiver IC for mobile phones supporting 2G GSM/GPS/EDGE and 3G UMTS/HSPA protocols, that includes a 3G DigRF(*1) interface on a single chip. The compact new transceiver IC also eliminates the need for external SAW filters(*2), and low-noise amplifiers (LNA)(*3) and enables mobile phone manufacturers to reduce component count, board space and bill of materials. While a simplified programming model helps to significantly reduce development time and simplify integration of the RF into a radio platform. Samples of the MB86L01A transceiver IC are available from today.

Figure 1: MB86L01A RF transceiver IC (7.1mm x 5.9mm)

Figure 1: MB86L01A RF transceiver IC (7.1mm x 5.9mm)

In today’s global mobile phone markets there are increasing needs for multimode support for the various 2G and 3G communications protocols in use, as well as multiband support for the various frequency bands used in different regions, and allotted to different carriers. Mobile phone manufacturers are faced with trying to supply not only the multitude of combinations of these modes and frequencies, but also have to deal with the demands of ever-shortening product lifecycles and smaller form-factors. This new MB86L01A RF transceiver IC is designed to help mobile phone manufacturers meet these demands.

The new RF transceiver IC supports all frequency bands for 2G protocols of GSM/GPRS/EDGE, as well as supporting a maximum of 4 bands simultaneously within the 10 frequency bands of the 3G protocols. UMTS/HSPA.

The MB86L01A transceiver also embeds LNAs on-chip, so external LNAs are not required as they were previously. Also, an architecture is employed that eliminates the need for external SAW filters, thus reducing total component count. Enclosed in a small form-factor 142-pin LGA package of 7.1mm x 5.9mm, the reduced space of the RF system helps realize smaller form-factor mobile phones.

Previously, RF design was focused on hardware with analog circuits. This transceiver IC includes digital circuit technology so that it can output digital signals to allow control of external components - such as antenna switch and power amplifier - thus simplifying the system. In addition, an embedded CPU allows simple programming to control functionality of the RF system or make filtering adjustments. This simplified programming model significantly reduces development, testing and verification time.

Also integrated into the transceiver is a 3G DigRF interface, a standard for connecting a transceiver IC and baseband IC, thus making it compatible with DigRF baseband ICs.

The development of the MB86L01A transceiver IC was enabled in part by the recent acquisition by Fujitsu Microelectronics of licenses and rights to the technology and intellectual property related to Freescale Semiconductor, Inc.’s RF transceiver products for mobile phones, and by Fujitsu’s acquisition of an RF team from Freescale in Tempe, Arizona, U.S.. More than 130 of those design engineers are working on RF transceiver IC design, architecture, validation, verification, and reference designs. The group is also working on the next-generation high bit-rate transceiver ICs.

Fujitsu Microelectronics is dedicated to increasing the competitiveness of its customers’ end products, and thus going forward will continue to provide advanced RF transceiver solutions and other semiconductor products such as power management ICs.

Product Features

  1. Reduces component count, board space with elimination of SAW filters and LNAs
    Previously, it was necessary to use external SAW filters to reduce noise from the transmitter circuits of the RF IC to the power amplifier. However, with the proprietary design of the transmitter circuits in this new RF transceiver, low noise output is achieved, thus eliminating the need for UMTS transmit SAW filters. Similarly for the UMTS/GSM receiver circuits, previously an external SAW filter was necessary in front of the receiver circuits to reduce degradation of signal-receiving sensitivity. Again, the proprietary design of this transceiver has eliminated the need for receive SAW filters. Also, a LNA was integrated into the receiver circuits of the IC.
    This can reduce the number of components needed by a maximum of 20 components compared to previous configurations, thereby simplifying the design of the RF portion of the system. Thus, board space can be reduced by over 10% as well as reduction in the bill of materials.
  2. New programming model reduces development burden
    By programming the embedded CPU, it becomes possible to control various internal functionality. Thus, for a change in the internal configuration of a mobile phone, a change in IC hardware is unnecessary and can be handled through programming of the CPU to control internal sequencing or tuning of digital filters. This simplified programming model helps significantly reduce development and verification time and simplifies integration of the RF system into mobile phone platforms.
  3. Supports UMTS/HSPA and GSM/GPRS/EDGE protocols on a single chip
    This RF transceiver supports 4 bands for GSM/GPRS/EDGE: GSM850, EGSM900, DCS1800, PCS1900. As well as supporting a maximum of 4 bands simultaneously within the UMTS/HSPA bands: I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VIII, IX, X, and XI. This transceiver also supports HSDPA(*4) with maximum downlink transmissions speeds of 14.4Mbps, as well as HSUPA(*5) with maximum uplink transmissions speeds of 5.7Mbps.
  4. Supports DigRF standard interface
    This RF transceiver IC includes the DigRF interface, version 3.09, a standard interface between RF ICs and baseband ICs defined by the MIPI Alliance. Thus is compatible with DigRF baseband ICs.

Glossary and Notes

*1. DigRF: An interface standard for connection between the RF IC and baseband IC in wireless mobile devices.

*2. AW filter: A filter designed to reduce noise by using a Surface Acoustic Wave in a piezoelectric material.

*3. LNA: Low Noise Amplifier. Located at the front-end of the receiver, it amplifies the signal while adding as little noise as possible.

*4. HSDPA: High Speed Downlink Packet Access. A specification within W-CDMA for downlink data transmissions.

*5. HSUPA: High Speed Uplink Packet Access. A specification within W-CDMA for uplink data transmissions.


PDF Overview of the RF Transceiver IC, MB86L01A

About Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia Pte Ltd (FMAL)

Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia Pte Ltd was established as the Asia Pacific Headquarters of Fujitsu Limited Electronic Devices Group in 1986. It provides support, sales and marketing of semiconductors and electronic devices to the Asia Pacific region, including India and Oceania. Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia offers a wide and varied product range like ASIC, ASSPs, Microcontrollers / Microprocessors (FR-V), System Memory (FRAM / FCRAM) and System LSIs (DVD MPEG Source Decoders / MPEG –2 Encoders).

About Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited

Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited designs and manufactures semiconductors, providing highly reliable, optimal solutions and support to meet the varying needs of its customers. Products and services include ASICs/COT, ASSPs, power management ICs, and flash microcontrollers, with wide-ranging expertise focusing on imaging, wireless, automotive and security applications. Fujitsu Microelectronics also drives power efficiency and environmental initiatives. Headquartered in Tokyo, Fujitsu Microelectronics Limited was established as a subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited on March 21, 2008. Through its global sales and development network, with sites in Japan and throughout Asia, Europe, and the Americas, Fujitsu Microelectronics offers semiconductor solutions to the global marketplace. For more information:

Press Contacts

Tan Tiew Le (Ms)

Fujitsu Microelectronics Asia Pte Ltd
Corporate Planning & Communications
Tel: 65-6381-7434

All company or product names referenced herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.