New RF DC/DC switching converters for 2G, 3G and 4G power amplifiers help extend battery life in LTE smartphones

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By eeNews Europe

Together with the National LM3241, the ICs extend battery life and reduce heat dissipated in battery-powered 2G, 3G and 4G long term evolution (LTE) portable devices such as smartphones and tablets.     

Operation of the radio circuitry in portable devices accounts for a significant amount of total power consumption – 30-percent or more. RF PAs are among the least efficient components in today’s mobile systems, typically driven at maximum power regardless of the power actually needed. TI’s new LM3242 and LM3243 dynamically adjust the power delivered to the PA based on how much power is actually needed, saving a significant amount of energy.     

The LM3242 and LM3243 are novel DC/DC switching converters as they are designed to meet stringent RF performance requirements and enable dynamic optimisation of the PA output power, saving up to 50-percent or more battery current consumption and reducing the PA heat by up to 30°C. Both ICs achieve 95-percent efficiency and feature multiple modes of operation to maximise efficiency for all battery and output conditions. The LM3242 is compatible with 3G and 4G applications and features a small 9-mm square solution size. The LM3243 includes a unique active current assist and analog bypass mode, which enables support for 2G, 3G and 4G applications while maintaining output regulation and minimal solution size.     

Key features and benefits of the LM3242 and LM3243 RF DC/DC switching converters include variable, dynamically-adjustable output voltage saves energy and reduces heat generation.  The devices offer automatic, smart transition between modes of operation optimizes efficiency during all load and battery conditions.  The LM3242 supports up to 1-A and is compatible with 3G and 4G applications while the LM3243 supports up to 2.5-A and is compatible with 2G, 3G and 4G applications.     The devices’ high switching frequency, unique operation modes and chip scale package reduce solution size and save cost.      

TI is showcasing the new RF DC/DC switching converters in booth 8A84 (Hall 8) at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, Spain, February 27 to March 1, 2012.      

Availability and Pricing     

Available in volume now from TI and its authorised distributors, the LM3242 is offered in 9-bump and the LM3243 in 16-bump micro SMD packages. Suggested retail price is $0.76 and $0.95, respectively, in 1,000-unit quantities.     

More information about the RF DC/DC switching converters and an evaluation board at


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