Scintera Expands Power Amplifier Linearization SoC Platform Into Digital Terrestrial Broadcast

Scintera Networks, Inc., a leading provider of semiconductors for wireless communications, today announced the general availability of its SC1887-03 Adaptive RF Power Amplifier Linearizer (RFPAL) system-on-chip (SoC) for the digital terrestrial UHF broadcast TV market.

Adaptive linearization, commonly used to increase the efficiency and output of high power broadcast amplifiers, has previously seen only limited use in lower power transmitters and exciters due to prohibitive complexity, cost, power consumption and footprint size. The SC1887-03 operates directly at the carrier frequency and enables dramatic savings in cost, power consumption and size, while achieving outstanding performance in reducing out-of-band non-linearities. The device architecture is based on Scintera’s production proven linearization solution, first sampled in August 2009, targeting wireless infrastructure applications.

“Broadcast power amplifier designers face a tough choice between inefficient backoff schemes and complex/expensive digital pre-distortion techniques. Scintera eliminates this dilemma by bringing a highly integrated and cost-effective solution proven in wireless infrastructure to digital broadcast television applications,” said Kris Rausch, vice president, Sales and Marketing at Scintera. “This not only enables us to enter new markets but also demonstrates the flexibility of Scintera’s core programmable analog signal processor technology.”

Today’s complex modulation schemes used in digital TV require the power amplifier (PA) to operate linearly. Prior to the SC1887-03, engineers designing broadcast transmitters were typically forced to operate the PA in backoff mode to achieve their linearity requirements. Backoff operation is highly inefficient and necessitates the use of oversized and costly RF components. The SC1887-03 breaks the complexity, power, and cost barriers by offering an easy-to-use, low-power, single-package solution that is inserted into transmitter designs directly in line with the PA. The RFin/RFout solution offers standalone operation and requires neither complex software development nor access to baseband signals. As a result, engineers are able to quickly bring to market linearized PA solutions in any configuration required, while minimizing development and manufacturing costs.

The SC1887-03 is packaged in a standard 64-pin, 9 x 9 mm QFN package enabling the implementation of the entire pre-distortion and linearization solution in less than 9 cm2 of board space. The compact solution is easily integrated directly into the most restricted form factors including PA modules. Though applicable to all types of amplifiers and output power levels, the very low power consumption of the SC1887-03 — less than 900 mW — makes it the ideal solution for low power exciters, drivers and transmitters such as those found in DVB (T/H/T2), CMMB, DTMB, ISDB-T and ATSC systems.

The SC1887-03 SoC (in volume production) and the SC1887-EVK500 evaluation kit are available now and can be purchased directly from Richardson Electronics Ltd. — online at Pricing starts in volume at $95 for 100 pieces for the SC1887-03 SoC and $1,100 for the SC1887-EVK500 evaluation kit.

About Scintera

Scintera provides a programmable analog signal processing platform that delivers higher performance and lower power consumption than traditional digital signal processing (DSP) solutions. Scintera is applying its breakthrough technology to solve real-world problems in the wireless cellular infrastructure and digital terrestrial broadcast market. The company is enabling the next generation of wireless networks, providing wider wireless coverage at higher data rates with lower costs. Scintera is privately held and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California. For further information, visit