STM Announces New Power Amplifier Technology

January 20, 2002 by Jeff Shepard

STMicroelectronics Inc. (ST, Lexington, MA) announced that its has developed an effective replacement for the Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) transistors currently used to build the radio frequency (RF) power amplifiers in mobile phone handsets. ST's silicon bipolar technology, in conjunction with a new RF design methodology, allows products built from silicon to match the performance of GaAs devices in the frequency range used by mobile phones, while retaining the advantages of silicon technology in terms of cost, reliability and flexibility. In particular, because the power amplifier is built from silicon, the bias and power control circuits can be incorporated in the power device.

ST plans to introduce the first commercial product using this technology as early as April 2002. The new device, through a combination of technology advances from ST and an innovative RF design methodology developed in conjunction with the University of Catania, completely replaces existing GaAs devices, allowing cell phone makers to reduce their component costs without compromising performance.