Peregrine Semiconductor expands digitally tunable capacitor product line

Next-generation DTCs greatly increase tuning ratio

Peregrine Semiconductor Corporation (Peregrine), a fabless provider of high-performance radio-frequency (RF) integrated circuits (ICs), have announced from booth  # 2009 at the International Microwave Symposium (IMS2012) in Montreal, two new Digitally Tunable Capacitors (DTCs)—the PE64101 and PE64102 (PE64101/2) DTCs.  The 5-bit, 32-state DTCs, designed using Peregrine’s DuNE™ tuning technology, enable wide-band tunable networks and minimize mismatch losses, improve system efficiency, and reduce radio complexity for cost-sensitive applications, such as RFID, phase shifters, and wireless communications, among others.

The PE64102 DTC has a tuning ratio of 7.4:1, and a capacitance range of 1.88 – 14.0 pF in 391 fF steps for shunt configuration.  The PE64101 DTC features a tuning range of 4.3:1 and a capacitance range of 1.38 – 5.9 pF in 146 fF steps for shunt configuration.  Both of the new devices are available in a miniature, 2 mm x 2 mm QFN package and, therefore, enable a smaller overall footprint.  Additionally, both of the new DTCs feature low power consumption of 75 µA in normal operation—45 µA in standby—making them well suited for battery-powered portable applications.  The devices also feature IIP3 linearity of 60 dBm across a wide tuning range, and are immune to latch up.  They are controlled by an SPI interface and can be mounted in series or shunt configuration.

“With the increasing numbers of radios on wireless devices, and the increasing number of frequency bands, tuning is now a necessity,” said Mark Schrepferman, director of marketing for Peregrine’s High-Performance Solutions business unit. “Following the 2011 launch of our PE64904/5 DTCs for cellular handsets, the PE64101/2 DTCs address the performance requirements of the broader market, simplify tuning architectures and improve the performance of a variety of applications in the industrial, military and aerospace, automotive, medical, and infrastructure markets.”

Development Tool Support

Peregrine also announced the availability of evaluation kits for measuring the impedance and loss of the PE64101/2 DTCs, today.  The kits include a USB interface board and cable, and are priced at $168.00 each.  They can be purchased in July through Peregrine’s global network of fully-trained DTC Advocates, which can be found at                                                                                                                                                     

Packaging, Pricing & Availability

The PE64101/2 DTCs are available in a 12-lead 2 mm x 2 mm QFN package.  The PE64101 is priced at $0.74 each, in 10,000-unit quantities.  The PE64102 is priced at $0.66 each, in 10,000-unit quantities.  Samples can be ordered in July, through Peregrine’s global direct sales representatives.  Volume-production quantities can also be ordered in July, through Peregrine’s DTC Advocates (