NEUBIBERG, GERMANY: The new front-end receiver modules from Infineon Technologies promise to simplify the addition of Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) functionality in smartphones and other handheld devices. According to the firm, the three devices in the BGM103xN7 series are the first modules to support either the separate or simultaneous reception of Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) and Globalnaya Navigatsionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema (GLONASS) signals. Although they measure just 2.3 x 1.7 x 0.73 mm, the modules combine the pre-filter and low-noise-amplifier (LNA) stages of the GNSS signal-chain front end (see photo).

The BGM1033N7 provides 14.8 dB gain and a 1.65-dB noise figure. Its sibling, the BGM1032N7, offers that performance combined with optimization to suppress Long-Term-Evolution (LTE) Band 13 signals. (The upper frequency of the LTE 13 band is 787 MHz while the second harmonic falls into the GPS band.) The third module, the BGM1034N7, is a high-gain (17.0-dB) version for systems with high losses in the receive chain. In examples like personal navigation devices and digital still cameras, the potential for jamming due to high-power cellular signals is less critical.

All of the modules feature low current consumption to meet mobile-device requirements (4.0 mA/3.1 mA). In cellular bands, they boast out-of-band rejection beyond -43 dBc and a +30- dBm 1-dB input compression point. Each device is rated for 8-kV IEC electro-static discharge (ESD) at the RF input pin. As a result, designers can achieve ESD requirements with only one external component.

In addition, the modules give engineers the flexibility to place any necessary post-filter (single-ended/balanced with suitable noise figure and attenuation) close to the GNSS receiver. To achieve optimized sensitivity, they can place the pre-filter and LNA close to the antenna. Each module features a low-insertion-loss/high-out-of-band-rejection pre-filter followed by a high-performance GNSS LNA.

"Designers are challenged to deliver rock-solid sensitivity performance for location-based serviceseven as GNSS evolves to a series of systems operated by different entities and handheld devices incorporate more high-powered RF technologies, such as Wi-Fi and LTE," explains Michael Mauer, Senior Marketing Director of RF and Protection Devices at Infineon Technologies Mobile Device. That pressure will not soon abate, as iSuppli calculates that 2012 sales of smartphones will reach 450 millionnearly all of which will support GNSS applications.