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The Third Generation Systems Circa 2004 - RF integration

CDRFIF module

A further reduction in size and power was obtained by redesigning the RF and IF integrated circuits into a single die. The combination of the two proved successful in the long run.

The RF module served as a reference schematic and reference design for the CE manufacturers. Many of the radio makers of the time had great experience with audio but limited experience in the 2GHz frequency range. As such, strong customer support in the form of schematics and matching techniques, was required.

The need for faster product introduction, and the smaller footprint of the chipset, allowed a module strategy to take hold across most of the product line. The module would include the whole system in a reasonable footprint, and the test systems and RF know how would not have to be replicated across the whole set of customers. This approach works well for RF sections in moderate volume, but for high volume manufacture (e.g. cell phones) it is an impractical cost burden

The Radio remained a dual path readio to separate the high amplitude terrestrial signal from the weak satellite signal. This would not change until the fourth generation chipsets which took advantage of a single A/D converter path.