NXP Introduces Innovative Platform to Help Engineers Develop RF Energy Products

The enhanced control features and reliability that solid-state technology brings to systems using RF energy have been known for some time now, however RF power transistors lacked development tools to help engineers leverage these features. NXP Semiconductors has introduced their RFE Series of system solutions for RF Energy. The 2.45 GHz, 250 W platform helps engineers prototype and develop innovative, high performance RF Energy systems in exciting new ways.

The RFE Series features a multi-level portfolio that addresses each step for building a successful RF Power design:

  • RFEL Lab Box – A plug-and-play RF generator with reflected power measurement, driven by an intuitive PC-based Graphical User Interface (GUI) with auto-tuning features. The lab box is fully integrated, only requiring a PC to be operated. It is designed for evaluation and initial prototyping, without the need for RF expertise or equipment.
  • RFEM Module – Combines a line-up of RF power transistors with an NXP Kinetis microcontroller, supporting an extensive software Application Programming Interface (API) that allows multiple operations such as frequency sweeps and closed-loop modes. The module is designed for fast prototyping, without requiring extensive RF expertise.
  • RFEP Pallet – A three-stage power amplifier reference design intended for RF engineers who want to leverage NXP’s RF matching know-how to speed up their design cycle.
  • RF Transistors – NXP offers high-performance RF components with associated evaluation boards, which are for RF power experts to use.

With the lab box, system developers will be able to create prototypes quickly and cost effectively. Once the proof of concept is complete, engineers can leverage the module and pallet to accelerate the design of their production system. In addition, NXP is building an ecosystem of skilled and vetted design houses and ODM partners to receive customized, production-ready solutions faster.

Key features of the RF Energy Lab Box:

  • Supports accurate power control over the full dynamic range, enabling frequency shifting that helps make precise use of RF energy.
  • Delivers steady power for years, with minimal performance degradation over time, lowering the total cost of ownership.
  • Operates at typically 30 or 50 V, for enhanced safety.

NXP debuts its RFE Series at 2.45 GHz, 250 W, with full availability in September 2018.

  • The RFEL24-500 is a 2x250 W lab box, priced at $10,000 USD.
  • The RFEM24-250 is a 250 W module, priced at $2,500 USD. Two RFEM24-250 modules are included in the RFEL24-500 lab box.
  • The RFEP24-300 is a 300 W pallet, priced at $1,500 USD.

All three solutions are built around NXP’s flagship MRF24300N 300 W LDMOS transistor, designed for 2400-2500 MHz operation at 60 percent drain efficiency. The MRF24300N RF transistor is shipping in volume and is part of NXP’s Product Longevity Program guaranteeing availability until at least 2026.