World’s Most Integrated Power Amplifier Module for 3G/LTE Smartphones

Revolutionary transistor design enables standard CMOS cost and integration without compromise on performance

SUNNYVALE, Calif.— ACCO Semiconductor, a fabless RF front-end component provider, today announced the mass production of the AC26120, a CMOS Multi-mode Multi-band Power Amplifier (MMPA) for smartphones and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

The AC26120 represents a fundamental breakthrough in CMOS power amplifiers, which so far have had limited success mainly in 2G and single-band 3G handsets. Designed for global handsets and IoT applications with support for quad-band GSM/EDGE and 12-band 3G/LTE, the AC26120 is the industry’s first and most integrated MMPA fabricated using a standard, low-cost CMOS processes. ACCO is changing the expectations of CMOS power amplifiers with the AC26120 by providing the cost, design and supply-chain advantages of CMOS integration with competitive performance.

ACCO has developed and patented a unique transistor design that delivers the performance of typical gallium arsenide (GaAs) power amplifiers yet uses standard CMOS fabrication processes. Previously considered not possible, the use of standard CMOS processing brings the advantages of Moore’s Law to the final non-silicon “holdout” in the phone, the RF front-end. This allows the entire smartphone to ride the same decreasing cost curve while increasing functionality and reliability as experienced in the rest of the electronics industry .

According to Christopher Taylor, Director of RF & Wireless Components at Strategy Analytics, “CMOS power amplifiers (PAs) have so far had difficulty matching the performance and features of GaAs-based PAs in LTE mobile devices. However, we have always held that CMOS has great potential in terms of production cost, integration and consistency, and will eventually win a significant share of the growing LTE PA market, which we estimate will soon exceed $3 billion per year. We think that by addressing the shortcomings of earlier CMOS PAs from the phone manufacturers’ perspective, ACCO is leading the way to wider use in LTE devices.”

ACCO is ramping up AC26120 production into various brands of LTE smartphones that are now shipping in multiple countries throughout Asia and Europe. ACCO will continue to leverage its patented technology to develop new CMOS solutions for the RF front-end of mobile communications products.

AC26120 Highlights

• Standard CMOS process

• Low profile LGA package (at 0.69mm) for thin handset designs

• Smallest MMPA at 5x5mm

• Integrates multiple modes: GSM, EDGE, WCDMA, TD-SCDMA and LTE

• Covers multiple frequency bands: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 20, 23, 25, 26, 27, 34, 39

• Supports both Linear GSM and Vramp GSM for compatibility with leading platforms

• Dedicated amplifier path for mid/low power mode to get superior performance

• APT and ET compatible

• Flexible platform configuration with multiple MIPI and GPIO modes

• Fully integrated input and output match networks

“ACCO’s technology drives the integration of all the PAs and controllers into a single die, eliminating complex manufacturing techniques that use unreliable and expensive gold bonding wires,” asserted Greg Caltabiano, CEO of ACCO. “In addition, the consistent CMOS fabrication process enables the replacement of 50+ individual discrete components with a single integrated passive device.”

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