Amping Up the Power

Every network could use more speed; wireless networks also can always use better range. Intersil is trying to provide both with a new power amplifier (PA) chip, the ISL3986, that will work with all iterations of its PRISM chipsets for 2.4GHz WLAN products, whether based on current 802.11b, or 802.11g in the future.

The ISL3986 is a two-stage Radio-Frequency Power Amplifier (RFPA) with a higher power output that increase WLAN range by up to 15 percent and will increase data throughput at the maximum range by at least twice the rated speed, according to the company announcement.
Cascaded output power is around 21 dBm for use in direct sequence spread spectrum (DSSS) . It also includes an integrated detector with a battery-life extending “sleep mode.”

The ISL3986 is not limited to 802.11-based WLANs, it also works with TDMA (time division multiplex access) packet protocol radios and ISM (Industrial Scientific and Medical) band radios.

The sleep mode which powers the PA either up or down as needed requires no external circuits, and Intersil says integrating it cuts costs by freeing up board space and the number of components needed.

The ISL3986 is current in volume production. For technical specifications, visit

Eric Griffith is the managing editor of 802.11 Planet.

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