Infineon Introduces World’s First Silicon-based Low Noise Amplifiers for UMTS/HSxPA and WLAN Applications with Performance Superior to GaAs

Feb 12, 2007 | Technology Media

Munich, Germany / Barcelona, Spain – February 12, 2007 – Infineon Technologies (FSE/NYSE: IFX) is the world’s first semiconductor supplier releasing commercial silicon-based low noise amplifier (LNA) products that offer better performance-price ratio compared to today’s expensive Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) alternatives while also helping mobile phone suppliers to comply to 3GPP regulations.  Today on occasion of the 3GSM World Congress 2007 in Barcelona, Infineon announced availability if its latest LNAs, the BGA700L16 and the BGA734L16, which are based on a combination of Infineon’s proprietary Silicon Germanium Carbon (SiGe:C) process with an additional feature of low resistance on-chip ground contact.  This combination results in LNA’s with best-in class noise figures.  The BGA700L16 is a dual band LNA for Wireless LAN (WLAN) systems and the tri-band LNA BGA734L16 is developed for usage in UMTS or HSxPA applications.
One of the main challenges on designing RF circuits for wireless products is to maximize sensitivity, network coverage and data throughput which are primarily determined by the noise figure of the receiver.  Traditionally, RF and microwave systems designers had to use more expensive GaAs based low noise amplifiers because of past limitations in silicon performance.  During the last decade there have been numerous scientific publications describing that cost-effective silicon based processes can rival GaAs in performance.  Infineon now is the first semiconductor company to prove this approach releasing a commercial silicon-based product with performance superior to GaAs.  Furthermore, the new SiGe:C process is more energy efficient and easier to integrate with other chip functions.
“With the introduction of this new class of LNAs Infineon again demonstrates its leadership on RF technologies,” said Michael Mauer, Senior Director Product Marketing at Infineon Technologies. “We have set a new benchmark for the industry resulting in higher performance and extended battery life for next generation wireless applications including UMTS and HSxPA handsets or WLAN products.”
Technical Features of BGA734L16 and BGA700L16
The BGA734L16 is a highly integrated LNA for 3G applications.  In order to reduce design complexity and minimize costs the RF device integrates three amplifiers for the 800, 1,900 and 2,100 MHz cellular bands on one chip.  The BGA734L16 is specified with an ultra-low noise figure of only 1.2 dB for the 2,100 MHz band.  Additional features on the chip include a temperature stabilizing circuit, 1 kV ESD protection and an output matching network (50 Ω).  The BGA734L16 provides gain control capability for a better dynamic range and system performance in environments with high levels of interference.  In addition, controlled gain offers the benefit of extending battery life.
The BGA700L16 is a LNA specified for Wireless LAN (802.11a/b/g/n) applications.  The chip integrates a single stage amplifier for the 2.45 GHz band and a two-stage amplifier to meet the requirements of the 4.9 to 5.95 GHz band. The BGA700L16 shows a noise figure of only 1.3 dB at 5.5 GHz band. Further features are internally matched inputs and outputs, shut down mode and temperature stabilization on the chip.
Availability, Package and Pricing
The new LNAs are available in sample quantities today, with volume production planned for April 2007.  Prices are starting at US-$ 0.80 (BGA700L16) and US-$1.20 (BGA734L16) each for 10,000 pieces.  Both devices will be shipped in a TSLP (Tiny Small Leadless Package)-16 with dimensions of only 2.3 mm x 2.3 mm x 0.39 mm, making them ideal for low profile multimedia phones and highly integrated WLAN modules.

About Infineon

Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions addressing three central challenges to modern society including energy efficiency, mobility and security.  In fiscal year 2006 (ending September), the company achieved sales of Euro 7.9 billion (including Qimonda sales of Euro 3.8 billion) with approximately 42,000 employees worldwide (including approximately 12,000 Qimonda employees).  With a global presence, Infineon operates through its subsidiaries in the US from Milpitas, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore, and in Japan from Tokyo.  Infineon is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at

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