Renesas introduces dual-beam active beamforming IC

ICs for phased array antennae in satellite comms (satcom), radar and point-to-point communications systems have been added to the portfolio of mmWave LNAs and Tx BFICs from Renesas Electronics. The company has added the F6121 and F6122 dual-beam active beamforming ICs for Ku-band satcom and the F6123 for Ku-band radar and line-of-sight communications. 

They are claimed to have best-in-class power consumption, noise figure with a compact size to enable next-generation, low-latency electronically steered antennae for in-flight connectivity (IFC), maritime, satcom-on-the-move, and low earth orbit (LEO) ground terminals.

The F61xx Rx devices are believed to be the first commercial products to feature dual-beam capability for make-before-break or simultaneous multi-satellite, multi-orbit operation over the full Ku and Ka Satcom bands. The Ics offer OEMs the flexibility of LNA selection and placement for improved noise figure and system G/T performance. 

“Our customers face three main challenges as they migrate from mechanical antennas to electronically steered antennas: thermal management, physical integration and affordability,” said Naveen Yanduru, vice president of RF Communications Product division at Renesas.

The second generation of F61xx dual-beam beamforming ICs address the thermal, integration, and cost challenges designers face as they transition from bulky mechanically steered antennae to the lower weight and leaner profile active electronically scanned array antennae (AESAs). The ICs deliver reduced power consumption, increased on-chip beam-state memory, and dual-beam operation (configurable for single beam with 40 per cent power savings), as well as improved RF performance, reports Renesas. They also complement the company’s sub-6GHz RFIC portfolio and the 5G mmWave product lines. 

The ICs have the flexibility to support dual/single-beam, full/half-duplex, single/dual-polarisation and 1D and 2D array architectures. The compact footprint has less than four per cent panel area utilisation on Ku λ/2 grid and relaxed pitch FC-BGA package for reduced integration complexity and improved RF isolation.

The fast and flexible digital interface with on-chip beam-state memory allows for low latency antenna beam switching in under 100ns

The F6121 Rx BFIC, the F6921 LNA and F6521 Tx BFIC are in production and available now to support half-duplex and full-duplex antenna designs for Ku-band LEO and GEO ground terminals. The F6121, F6122, and F6123 ICs are available now and shipping to customers designing satcom and radar systems for 2022 deployments.

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