IF to Antenna Transceiver Solution for mmWave Fixed Wireless Access

— 25 to 29 GHz Frequency Coverage
— Solutions for +57 and +63 dBi EIRP
— Supports 400 MHz Channels and 2048-QAM Modulation

mmTron has developed a full IF to antenna solution for 25 to 29 GHz fixed wireless access (FWA) systems, offering two solutions that combine high power (EIRP) and high linearity to enable high data rates for broadband internet access.

The global demand for broadband is fueling the rapid growth of FWA as a cost-effective and easily deployed network for service providers. The mmWave spectrum at 24 GHz and above is increasingly being tapped to ensure sufficient network capacity to provide users with consistently high data rates.

Maximizing the distances between FWA radio nodes requires high power, and maximizing the data rate requires high linearity. The greater the power and linearity, the longer the range and the greater the data rate for the network.

mmTron has developed two transceiver bundles for 25 to 29 GHz FWA systems that support +57 dBi and +63 dBi EIRP transmitters, respectively. These power levels enable operators to extend the reach between radios and reduce the capital cost of the radio access network.

Both transceivers are full duplex that support up to 400 MHz channel bandwidth and 2048-QAM modulation across the full frequency band. A typical dual-polarized FWA radio will use two bundles.

+57 dBi EIRP Solution

The first transceiver solution combines mmTron’s TMC178 and TMC165 in a two-chip bundle (part number TMC178165) to achieve +57 dBi EIRP. Key specs are

— RF Frequency Range: 25–29 GHz
— IF Frequency Range: 5–7 GHz
— LO: 6–8 GHz, 0 dBm Input Drive
— Transmit Output Power: 29 dBm
— Transmit Gain from IF to the Antenna Port: 25 dB
— Built in Transmit Output Power Detector
— Receive Noise Figure: 3.5 dB
— Receive Gain from the Antenna Port to IF: 25 dB
— Only Positive Bias Voltages: +6 and +3 V

The TMC178165 supports full-duplex TDD operation, as the architecture has switches on both the antenna and mixer sides. The switches are controlled with standard control signals.

+63 dBi EIRP Solution

The second transceiver solution combines mmTron’s TMC178, TMC169, and TMC252 in a three-chip bundle (part number TMC178169252) that achieves +63 dBi EIRP. The higher power is achieved by adding a GaN power amplifier, the TMC252. The key specs for the TMC178169252 are

— RF Frequency Range: 25–29 GHz
— IF Frequency Range: 5–7 GHz
— LO: 6–8 GHz, 0 dBm Input Drive
— Transmit Output Power: 37 dBm
— Transmit Gain from IF to the Antenna Port: 25 dB
— Built in Transmit Output Power Detector
— Receive Noise Figure: 3.5 dB
— Receive Gain from the Antenna Port to IF: 25 dB
— Bias Voltages: +23, +6, +3, and –4 V

The specs of the two transceiver solutions are the same except for the higher transmit power of the three-chip solution. The TMC178169252 also supports full-duplex TDD operation, with switches on both the antenna and mixer sides.

The ICs in both solutions are in low-cost, 20-pin, 5 mm x 5 mm, plastic overmold QFN packages.

At IMS2024

mmTron will be discussing these FWA transceivers at the 2024 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS) from June 18 to 20 in Washington, D.C. If you’re there, stop by mmTron’s booth, 1661. To schedule a meeting at IMS or request more information and preproduction samples, email contact@mmTron.com.

Ultra-Low Phase Noise GaAs HBT VCOs

mmTron has released two VCOs for aerospace/defense and high-performance point-to-point radio systems. The GaAs/InGaP HBT MMICs integrate negative resistance devices and varactor diodes with an on-chip resonator. Monolithic integration assures excellent phase noise performance over temperature, shock, and process variation.

The TMC934D MMIC covers 23.3 to 27.4 GHz, achieving –98 dBc/Hz typical phase noise at 100 kHz offset. Power output is +12 dBm with a +5 V bias.

The TMC928D MMIC covers 13.32 to 15.20 GHz, with –112 dBc/Hz typical phase noise at 110 kHz offset. Its power output is 8 dBm with +5 V bias.

Both VCOs are available as die or can be provided in QFN packages. No external matching components are required.

Custom VCOs for other frequency bands can be developed and can include on-chip prescalars. Contact us to discuss your requirements: contact@mmtron.com

Enabling >100 GHz Markets with Our Family of InP Distributed Amplifiers

mmTron logo with the text "Exploring the >100 GHz Frontier" with a background of purple and blue rays emanating from the center of the image

The adoption of mmWave frequencies by 5G has provided significant investment in semiconductor technologies for fixed and mobile applications, adding to the earlier adoption by automotive radar and point-to-point radio.

This improvement in both IC performance and manufacturing maturity provides the starting point for a new generation of R&D exploring applications above 100 GHz, a new frontier offering many possibilities. While much of the research is sponsored under the umbrella of “6G,” the applications are many and varied: high-resolution imaging, industrial sensors, photonics-based phased array radar, inter-satellite links, holographic communications, virtual reality, medical sensing. They span consumer, industrial, medical, satellite, and military systems.

To aid this research, mmTron has developed a family of three InP distributed amplifiers covering DC to 120, 160, and 180 GHz, the TMC773D, TMC774D, and TMC775D, respectively. They offer high gain and output power with low noise figure. mmTron’s InP amplifiers are well-suited for use in test and measurement systems and application test beds.

Plot of the gain of the TMC774 amplifier from 105 to 160 GHz.
Measured gain of the TMC774 distributed amplifier from 105 to 160 GHz.

The InP distributed amplifier family extends the frequency coverage of our portfolio of GaAs distributed amplifiers, which provide disruptive performance from DC to 85 GHz.

You’ll find the datasheets for mmTron’s distributed amplifiers on our Products page. Reach out with any questions and to request devices for evaluation at contact@mmtron.com.

New Product: Ultra-Broadband Mixer IC Covers 20 to 80 GHz

A background photo of a drone circling over a mountainous terrain. A photo of the TMC170D IC overlays the background, with the text 20–80 GHz Active Mixer.

We’re pleased to announce our latest disruptive product: an active mixer providing frequency conversion from 20 to 80 GHz. In addition to its bandwidth, the TMC170D stands out with 0 dB average conversion loss across the band and an LO drive of only 0 dBm.

The InP semiconductor-based design achieves RF and LO coverage from 20 to 80 GHz and an IF from kHz to 70 GHz, the low IF frequency limited only by the size of an external blocking capacitor. The mixer has an integrated LO amplifier that eliminates the need for an external LO buffer amplifier and requires only 0 dBm drive.

Plot of conversion gain/loss vs. LO drive
The TMC170’s low conversion loss is achieved with very low LO drive.

The triple-balanced architecture (LO, RF, and IF) ensures outstanding harmonic performance. RF-to-IF isolation is greater than 80 dBc. All ports are matched to 50 Ω, with VSWR better than 1.5:1.

The active mixer requires three bias voltages: +5 V, drawing 90 mA; +7 V, drawing 90 mA; and –3 V, drawing 55 mA.


The broadband coverage of the TMC170D makes it well-suited for electronic warfare (EW) and mmWave instrumentation systems.

The increasing use of the mmWave spectrum for communications and other applications means signals intelligence (SIGINT) receivers must cover the extended spectrum, quickly scanning to detect and classify signals. With the wide bandwidth RF, LO, and IF, the TMC170D offers flexible frequency planning and simplified receiver designs for software-defined radios used in drones and portable SIGINT systems.

Instrumentation systems such as vector network analyzers (VNA) must extend their capabilities to provide precision measurements in the higher mmWave bands. The TMC170D can be used in frequency extenders, as well as enabling wide bandwidth front-ends integrated directly into VNAs and spectrum analyzers.


The TMC170D is available in die form, 1.6 mm (input to output) x 1.09 mm (width) x 75 µm (thickness). Bond pad and backside metallization are Au-based to be compatible with standard wire bonding and high conductivity epoxy die attach processes.

Download the TMC170D datasheet here. To obtain more information and order evaluation quantities, email mmTron at contact@mmTron.com.

New Products: We Do Switches Too

The 805D and 806D die layouts, partially obscured, are shown with a backdrop of the universe. The title says 70 and 90 GHz SPDT Switches

While our focus remains on disruptive MMICs with high power, linearity, and efficiency, we couldn't resist applying our design talents to mmWave switches. Virtually every mmWave front-end needs a switch.

With switches, the lower the loss and the higher the isolation, the better. Targeting these goals, mmTron has developed two impressive single pole double throw (SPDT) switches fabricated with a GaAs pHEMT process:

— The TMC805D covers DC to 70 GHz with 4.5 dB loss and 25 dB isolation at 70 GHz.

— The TMC806D covers DC to 90 GHz with 6 dB loss and 25 dB isolation at 90 GHz.

Switching is controlled with a +5 V voltage.

Both switches are available as die, 0.68 mm x 0.73 mm x 50 µm. Bond pad and backside metallization are Au-based to support standard ribbon and wedge bonding and die attach processes.

Download the datsheets for the TMC805 and TMC806 and contact us with any questions: contact@mmTron.com.

New Product: Single-Chip Front-End Module Covers 24–30 GHz

Block diagram of the TMC252 with the text "Announcing a front-end RFIC for FWA. 5G, and Satcom. TMC252"

mmTron has developed its first single-chip front-end IC for mmWave communications. Covering 24 to 30 GHz, the TMC252 integrates a power amplifier (PA), low noise amplifier (LNA), and transmit-receive (T/R) switch on a single GaN IC that is available as a die or packaged in a 5 mm x 5 mm air-cavity QFN.

The TMC252 is well-suited for fixed wireless access, 5G infrastructure, point-to-point radio, and satellite communications (Satcom). Its broadband performance covers several FR2, radio, and Satcom bands.

Tx Performance

In transmit mode, at 27 GHz the TMC252 provides 38 dBm saturated output power, 37 dBm at 1 dB compression, and 42 dBm OIP3. At saturated output, the power-added efficiency (PAE) is 22%. Small-signal gain is 22 dB. Biased at 23 V on the drain and –3.8 V on the gate, the quiescent current is 590 mA.

TMC252 measured on-wafer output power with 18 dBm drive at 24, 27, and 30 GHz.
TMC252 Tx path measured on-wafer output power with 18 dBm drive at 24, 27, and 30 GHz.

Rx Performance

In receive mode, at 27 GHz the TMC252 provides 19 dB gain with 5 dB noise figure. The output power at 1 dB compression is 25 dBm and OIP3 is 29 dBm. The recommended drain bias is also 23 V, and the current drain is 60 mA with –4.5 V on the gate.

TMC252 receive path measured on-wafer noise figure from 23 to 31 GHz.
TMC252 receive path measured on-wafer noise figure from 23 to 31 GHz.

T/R Switching

The single pole, double throw GaN switch routes the transmit signal from the PA to a common port, typically connected to an antenna, or the receive signal from the common port to the LNA. It is switched with 0 or 23 V; no negative voltage is required to control the switch.

The TMC252 is available as a die (designated TMC252D) which measures 3 mm x 3 mm x 0.1 mm. It is also available packaged in a 5 mm x 5 mm air-cavity QFN.

The datasheet for the TMC252 may be downloaded here.

PA and Driver for FWA, 5G Infrastructure, and Satcom

To extend the reach of high data rate radios operating in the frequency bands between 24 and 30 GHz, mmTron has developed a linear power amplifier (PA) and companion driver, both fabricated with a high linearity, high reliability GaN process.

TMC254 24–30 GHz PA

Small-signal performance of the TMC254D measured on-wafer.

The TMC254 PA delivers 39 dBm saturated output power with 29.5% power-added efficiency (PAE). P1dB is 38 dBm and OIP3 is 44 dBm. Linear gain is 24 dB.

The 24 to 30 GHz bandwidth of the PA supports high data rate applications like fixed wireless access (FWA), 5G infrastructure, Satcom, and supporting test and measurement systems. The linearity of the PA enables system designers to extend the reach and/or the data rates of their radio links.

The TMC254 is typically biased with 28 V on the drain and –3.8 V on the gate, drawing 588 mA quiescent current.

The PA is available as a die (TMC254D) or packaged in a 5 mm x 5 mm air-cavity QFN (TMC254). The die size is 3.0 mm x 3.0 mm, and the IC’s thickness is 0.1 mm. Bond pad and backside metallization are Au-based to ensure compatibility with wire bonding and high conductivity epoxy or eutectic die attach.

Download the TMC254 data sheet here.

TMC248 22–30 GHz Driver

Small-signal performance of the TMC248D measured on-wafer.

The companion TMC248 driver amplifier covers 22 to 30 GHz and provides 20 dB small-signal gain, 27 dBm saturated output power, 26 dBm output at P1dB, and 30 dBm OIP3.

The output power of the TMC248 is more than sufficient to drive the TMC254 to its saturated output without degrading the linearity of the signal chain. The driver can also be used as the PA in lower power systems.

Like the PA, the driver is typically biased at 23 V on the drain and draws 60 mA quiescent current at –4.5 V gate bias.

Available as die (TMC248D), the size of the IC is 3.0 mm x 3.0 mm, and the IC’s thickness is 0.1 mm. Bond pad and backside metallization are Au-based.

Download the TMC248 data sheet here.

The Latest Disruptive PA in Our Satcom Portfolio

The image summarizes the key performance parameters of the TMC215 and includes a plot of the measure P1dB, and associated PAE and gain.

We’re pleased to announce the latest disruptive power amplifier (PA) in our satellite communications portfolio:

Designed for the Ka-Band satellite uplink band, the TMC215 PA provides 45 W output power at P1dB with 24% power-added efficiency (PAE) across 27 to 31 GHz. The three-stage GaN MMIC delivers >20 W of linear power with 19 dBc noise power ratio (NPR). The design has 23 dB small-signal gain and is well-matched to 50 Ω.

With a wide operating bandwidth, from 26 to 32 GHz, the TMC215 is also useful for fixed wireless access links, 5G infrastructure, and test instrumentation.

The recommended drain bias is 28 V and 3 A current, although the bias can be reduced to 18 V while maintaining 25 W output power with good PAE and linearity.

The TMC215 is available as die (5 mm x 4 mm x 0.1 mm) for integration in a multi-chip module, with on-chip DC blocking capacitors at input and output and built-in ESD protection.

The bond pad and backside metallization are Au-based, ensuring compatibility with standard wire bonding and die attach methods.

An assembled evaluation module is available to help potential customers evaluate the PA.

Review the performance specs here.

mmTron Distributed Amplifier MMICs Available as X-MWblocks®️

mmTron logo with text "Product News" above a backdrop of a green printed circuit board.

Four of mmTron’s broadband, high performance distributed amplifier MMICs are now available from Quantic X-Microwave as X-MWblocks®️, enabling quick and easy prototyping of systems.

With their wide frequency range, these distributed amplifiers are well-suited for electronic warfare and instrumentation. They are also useful as gain blocks in many systems, offering high, flat gain and well-matched to 50 Ω at input and output.

mmTron Distributed Amplifiers Available As X-MWblocks

mmTron’s TMC162 is a low noise amplifier (LNA) covering DC to 20 GHz with 2.5 dB noise figure and 19 dB gain. The output power is very respectable for an LNA: 24 dBm P1dB and 31 dBm OIP3. Quantic X-Microwave’s X-MWblock part number for the TMC162 is XM-D537-0404D.

The TMC163 was optimized for high linearity and provides 34 dBm OIP3 and 26 dBm P1dB. It covers DC to 20 GHz and has 17 dB small-signal gain. The X-MWblock part number is XM-D539-0404D.

For systems requiring higher output power, the TMC164 provides 27 dBm P1dB and 34 dBm OIP3 with 16 dB small-signal gain across DC to 26.5 GHz. The X-MWblock part number is XM-D542-0404D.

The fourth MMIC, TMC200 is mmTron’s highest output power distributed amplifier. It provides 30 dBm saturated, 29 dBm P1dB, and 39 dBm OIP3 and covers DC to 26.5 GHz with 15 dB small-signal gain. The X-MWblock part number is XM-D536-0404D.

TMC200 X-MWblock layout drawing
TMC200 X-MWblock circuit layout.

How To Order

The X-MWblock versions of mmTron’s distributed amplifier MMICs are available from Quantic X-Microwave as well as from Mouser Electronics, a global distributor of semiconductors and electronic components.

Die and SMT packaged versions of these distributed amplifiers are available directly from mmTron. For mmTron pricing and delivery, send an email to contact@mmTron.com.

What’s An X-MWblock?

If you’re not familiar with X-MWblocks, Quantic X-Microwave has compiled a catalog of various circuit functions from numerous manufacturers that can be combined on a prototype plate to build and evaluate a signal path. X-MWblocks can also be configured with SMA connectors to serve as standalone modules.

mmTron Releasing Ultra-Low Noise and Super-Low Power Dissipation LNAs for Satcom

The graphic shows a satellite orbiting above a partial view of the Earth's curved surface, with a parabolic antenna pointing toward the ground. The text says Satcom LNAs. The mmTron logo appears in the upper left of the image.

To complement its power amplifier MMICs for satellite communications, mmTron is fabricating two ultra-low noise amplifier MMICs with super-low power dissipation.

The TMC173 is designed to cover the 17.3 to 21.2 GHz downlink band, providing an extremely low 1.2 dB noise figure and 23 dB gain. Biased with a single supply of +3 V on the drain, the MMIC draws only 17 mA — just 51 mW power dissipation.

The TMC174 is designed to cover the 27 to 31 GHz uplink band, also providing an ultra-low 1.5 dB noise figure with 21 dB gain. Biased with a single supply of +2 V on the drain, the MMIC draws only 15 mA — just 30 mW power dissipation.

Both MMICs are being fabricated on a GaAs pHEMT process that has been space qualified for satellites in geostationary and lower Earth orbits, i.e., GEO, MEO, and LEO. They will be available as die or in ceramic air-cavity QFN packages, the TMC173 in a 3 mm x 3 mm QFN, the TMC174 in a 4 mm x 4 mm.

The specifications for the MMICs are available on mmTron’s website at mmtron.com/products/.

mmTron is accepting pre-orders from companies wishing to evaluate the MMICs. If interested, please contact mmTron at contact@mmtron.com.