RF Converter That Expands Data Throughput For Wireless Carriers


Provides solution for the ever incerasing cell towers that are nearing saturation based on the number of antennas they support

Analog Devices, Inc. has introduced a mixed-signal front-end (MxFE) RF data converter platform that combines high-performance analog and digital signal processing for a range of wireless equipment such as 4G LTE and 5G millimeter-wave (mmWave) radios.

ADI’s new AD9081/2 MxFE platform allows manufacturers to install multiband radios in the same footprint as single-band radios, which as much as triples call capacity available in today’s 4G LTE base stations. With a 1.2 GHz channel bandwidth, the new MxFE platform also enables wireless carriers that are adding more antennas to their cell towers to meet the higher radio density and data-rate requirements of emerging mmWave 5G.


By shifting more of the frequency translation and filtering from the analog to the digital domain, the AD9081/2 provides designers with the software configurability to customize their radios. The new multi-channel MxFE platform meets the needs of other wide-bandwidth applications in 5G test and measurement equipment, broadband cable video streaming, multi-antenna phased array radar systems and low-earth-orbit satellite networks.

The AD9081 and AD9082 MxFE devices integrate eight and six RF data converters, respectively, which are manufactured using 28 nm CMOS process technology. Both MxFE options achieve the industry’s widest instantaneous signal bandwidth (up to 2.4 GHz), which simplifies hardware design by reducing the number of frequency translation stages and relaxing filter requirements. This new level of integration yields a 60 percent reduction in printed-circuit-board (PCB) area compared to alternative devices.

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The MxFE platform processes more of the RF spectrum band and embeds DSP functions on-chip to enable the user to configure the programmable filters and digital up and down conversion blocks to meet specific radio signal bandwidth requirements. This results frees up valuable processor resources or allows designers to use a more cost-effective FPGA.

Key Features

  • 10X power reduction compared to architectures that perform RF conversion and filtering on the FPGA.
  • Space constraints of wireless device design reduced by lowering chip count.


Product RF Data converters Sample Availability Full Production Price Each Per 1,000 Price Each Per 1,000
AD9081 Quad 12-bit 4Gsps ADCs

Quad 16-bit 12Gsps DACs

Sept 2019 Mar 2020 US$1,487 324-BGA Thermally Enhanced

JESD204B and JESD204C

AD9082 Dual 12-bit 6Gsps ADCs

Quad 16-bit 12Gsps DACs

Sept 2019 Dec 2019 US$1,500 324-BGA Thermally Enhanced

JESD204B and JESD204C


For more information check AD9081, AD9082, ADI’s MxFE portfolio, RF data converters



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