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Analog Devices (ADI), a provider of high-performance semiconductors for signal-processing applications, has unveiled a highly integrated modulator for broadband satellite-communications applications.

The ADRF6750 can be used for very small aperture terminals (VSAT), for example.

The modulator offers a high level of integration and functionality by combining four devices into one small footprint, according to the company.

Previous broadband satellite-communication designs required a variety of RF ICs to form an intermediate-frequency (IF) signal path.

This multi-chip approach took up considerable board space, added system complexity and increased bill-of-materials costs.

The company claims that the ADRF6750 modulator saves space, reduces cost and lowers complexity by integrating an analogue I/Q quadrature modulator, a fractional-N phase-locked-loop (PLL) synthesiser, a voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) and a digitally controlled radio-frequency (RF) attenuator, all within an 8mm x 8mm LFCSP package.

It also supports a user-selectable SPI/I2C serial interface that simplifies design and allows maximum flexibility.

Operating within the 950MHz to 1,575MHz frequency range and on a single 5V power supply, the ADRF6750 modulator enables 10Hz frequency increments and the integrated output attenuator provides 47dB output gain control with a 1dB step resolution.

The device also features monitoring-output and output-disable-control capabilities.

According to ADI, the ADRF6750 modulator offers good RF performance, including an output compression (P1dB) of 8.5dBm, an output third order intercept (IP3) of 21dBm and a noise floor of -148dBc/Hz.

The ADRF6750 modulator is sampling now with volume production scheduled for July 2009.

It is available for USD5.75 (GBP3.95) per unit in 1,000-unit quantities.

Using a combination of design skills, system understanding and process technologies, ADI offers a portfolio of RF ICs covering the entire RF signal chain, from high-performance RF function blocks to highly integrated Wimax and short-range single-chip transceiver solutions.

The RF function blocks include DDS and PLL synthesisers, TruPwr power detectors and logarithmic amplifiers, X-Amp VGAs, power amplifiers, LNAs and other RF amplifiers, mixers and direct conversion modulator and demodulator products.

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