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TMCNet:  Ethertronics Expands EtherChip™ Portfolio with First-Ever Antenna Tuning Chips Featuring Embedded Memory Capabilities

[February 03, 2014]

Ethertronics Expands EtherChip™ Portfolio with First-Ever Antenna Tuning Chips Featuring Embedded Memory Capabilities

SAN DIEGO --(Business Wire)--

Shortly after shipping its one billionth antenna, Ethertronics, a leading technology company enabling innovative antenna and RF system solutions to deliver the best connected experience, today announced that the company is expanding its EtherChip™ line with the industry's first-ever antenna tuning RF silicon chips featuring embedded memory capabilities.

Designed for a variety of applications including wireless phones, tablets, notebooks, M2M products, the Internet of Things, and other wireless devices, the new EtherChip EC975™ and EC949™ antenna tuning chips take Ethertronics even further into the RF front end system. They are a critical step toward enabling a smarter AFEM (Antenna Front End Module) for cost-effective, efficient and scalable solutions. This is critical given that the space available for the RF front end gets squeezed each year forcing component vendors to reduce the overall footprint for RF components inside devices while asking for more complex band coverage and configuration flexibility.

New Features Provide Significantly Better Performance and Easier OEM Integration

Both EC975 and EC949 feature embedded RAM (News - Alert), making them the industry's first-ever antenna tuning chips with built-in memory capabilities. Embedded RAM allows the tunable capacitor and/or the RF switch to be controlled through the application layer, instead of the baseband software. OEMs will benefit from much easier integration as they won't need to modify baseband software or add additional hardware. Ethertronics also provides its proprietary application software to optimize the process of integration. EC975 and EC949 each also include a MIPI interface, which is becoming the industry standard for mobile devices, in addition to a conventional SPI interface. Both EC975 and EC949 have an operating frequency of 100MHz to 3000MHz, making them ideal for the lower 4G LTE (News - Alert) bands as well as 2G and 3G applications.

"The additions of EC975 and EC949 to our EtherChip prduct portfolio underscore our continued focus on innovations designed to re-architect the RF Front End (RFFE). The RFFE continues to get squeezed for space as more functionality is added to devices, such as global roaming and carrier aggregation, while batteries and screens continue to increase in size," said Claudio Anzil, vice president of semiconductor operations at Ethertronics. "These devices are specifically developed to enable higher performance, smaller form factor mobile antennas for demanding standards like LTE, through innovative antenna tuning techniques. Embedding RAM capabilities also streamlines the integration process for OEMs as they now aim to have a single SKU and solution. Leveraging our 14 years of global antenna integration experience, Ethertronics provides a single source for all antenna system aspects including the antenna, the related silicon and the application software tools to manage them. Our goal is to simplify the life of the OEMs, to make it easier for them to enhance the user experience and support the carriers' demands. OEMs will be pleased with these new products that are designed to add more 'smarts' to their wireless devices."

EC975 leverages Ethertronics' patent-pending Air InteRFace Digital Conditioning™ (AIRFDC™) technology to provide tuning capacitance; seamlessly adjusting the characteristics of a cellular antenna to its dynamic requirements - such as retuning for frequency shift, environmental effects, or more bandwidth. Its advanced design additionally supports the ability to compensate for the detuning of the antenna system due to hand and head effects.

EC949 incorporates Ethertronics' patented IMD technology with dynamic impedance matching and band switching by combining one tunable capacitor and a four-port switch within a very small form factor; providing more degrees of freedom and flexibility for system designers.�Utilizing Ether Switch&Tune™ technology, EC949 enables global roaming across all 2G/3G/4G LTE bands from a single antenna element. EC949 also enables carrier aggregation with high efficiency, especially to meet the requirements of intra- and inter-band aggregation for LTE Advanced standard specifications, as it is able to access two or more bands simultaneously.

Ethertronics is showcasing EC975, EC949 and several of its other innovative products at GSMA Mobile World Congress (News - Alert) and Showstoppers in Barcelona, Spain. The company's EtherChip 2.0™, part of the EtherChip family of products, has been shortlisted for the GSMA Global Mobile Awards and the Telecoms.com (News - Alert) 2014 awards, both of which are being announced during Mobile World Congress. To set up a meeting and learn more, please contact pr@ethertronics.com. More information on EC975 and EC949 can be found at http://www.ethertronics.com/products/active/.

About Ethertronics

Headquartered in San Diego, Calif., Ethertronics is a technology company enabling innovative antenna and RF system solutions to deliver the best connected experience for operators, OEMs, and consumers. The company - via its Antenna, Systems and Chip Divisions - is established in designing and manufacturing high-performance embedded antenna system solutions supporting a wide range of applications. Ethertronics' patented Isolated Magnetic Dipole™ (IMD) technology has a legacy as a strong foundation for passive, as well as active antennas designs. Ethertronics' technology has been selected by major customers with worldwide shipments over 250 million annually. Ethertronics maintains a global network of design centers and manufacturing operations. For more information, visit www.ethertronics.com, and for images of Ethertronics' products contact pr@ethertronics.com.


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