The MAX2371 is an ideal low-noise amplifier (LNA) at low IF frequencies when a large dynamic range of gain is needed. This part works at frequencies not specified in the data sheet. Specific to this note is the 220MHz frequency.
The MAX2371 is a low-noise amplifier (LNA) IC designed for very low intermediate frequency receiver applications. The LNA features both a switched attenuator and an automatic gain control (AGC) intended as a low-noise gain stage. Between these two features, the device provides over 65dB of gain-control range. The LNA has a selectable current mode. When high current mode is selected, the IC will perform with maximum gain, IP3 and low noise figure. When peak performance is not required, low-current mode slightly degrades the aforementioned parameters while reducing current consumption.
Although the MAX2371 is specified in its data sheet as operating between 136 and 174 MHz, the part also functions well at other frequencies. The data in this note documents performance at 220MHz. The only change required to use the MAX2371 at this alternative frequency is to update the component values for the input and output matching networks. The values used are represented in the MAX2371 EVKit Schematic and BOM included at the end of this note.
1) Vcc = 2.85 V
2) Frequency = 220 MHz
3) Input Power = -30 dBm
4) Two Tone Spacing = 625 kHz
5) RF_ATTN = LOW
6) LNA_I = HIGH
Test Setup Diagram:
Figure 1. Diagram of the LNA test setup used to evaluate the MAX2371.
|Max. Gain(dB)||12.5||Vgc = 1/2 Vcc|
|Noise Figure(dB)||2.2||Vgc = 1/2 Vcc|
|IIP3(dBm)||1.5||Vgc = 1/2 Vcc|
|Dynamic Range(dB)||55.0||From VGC|
|Gain Step (dB)||17.5||From RF_ATTN|
|Icc over Gain(mA)||3.7|
Gain, IIP3, P1dB
IIP3, P1dB and Gain were measured for the MAX2371 over control voltage and temperature to show all operating conditions. Three temperatures were tested (-10°C, +25°C, +70°C) along with 8 AGC voltages. The results are plotted below.
Figure 2. The downward sloped curve set shows that Gain varies less than 0.3dB over temperature.
Figure 3. IIP3 has a variance of approximately 3.5dB over temperature.
Figure 4. Input P1dB varies by less than 2dB over temperature.
MAX2371 IF Amplifier Circuit S11 and Circuit S22
S11 and S22 were measured against control voltage. The results are plotted below. The input and output were each matched to 50 ohms using single section L-C matches.
Figure 5. Variance of S11 and S22 over VGC range.
This study of the MAX2371 illustrates its effectiveness and viability as an LNA at 220MHz. The IC provides good noise figure and low current consumption while offering a wide gain range.
MAX2371 EVKit Schematic
MAX2371 EVKit BOM
|12||J1-3||Three PIN INLINE HEADER|
|13||J4||SIX PIN INLINE HEADER|
|14||J5-6||Two PIN INLINE HEADER|
|23||U1||MAX2371EGC LNA/AGC Attenuator|