ST's tiny balun-on-a-chip simplifies Bluetooth Smart design - Embedded.com

ST’s tiny balun-on-a-chip simplifies Bluetooth Smart design

STMicroelectronics’ new integrated balun, the BALF-NRG-01D3 , is a companion chip to ST’s BlueNRG Bluetooth Smart wireless network processor, the BALF-NRG-01D3. The BALF-NRG-01D3 integrates all the necessary external balancing and matching circuitry and ensures optimum performance: a challenge that usually demands considerable RF circuit-design skills. Its input impedance is matched to the BlueNRG device to maximize sensitivity and output power, with harmonic filtering to meet the regulatory standard. The BALF-NRG-01D3 replaces as many as 15 surface-mount components and has up to 75% smaller footprint compared to a discrete balun.

The BALF-NRG-01D3 is the latest member of ST’s Integrated Passive Device (IPD) family that implements RF front-end circuitry for applications such as mobile devices, wearable electronics, and Internet of Things (IoT) endpoints. ST’s IPD process integrates high-quality passives on a glass substrate, achieving a competitive cost structure, small form factor, and low power losses. The complete IPD family includes baluns, RF couplers, diplexers, and band-pass filters for RF applications at frequencies above 400MHz, such as WLAN, Bluetooth, ZigBee, and LTE.

The BALF-NRG-01D3 is in full production, in a 1.4mm x 0.85mm 4-bump Wafer-Level Chip-Scale Package (WLCSP) only 0.67mm high, priced at $0.15 for orders of 5000 units.

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