An RF amplifier is an active product device that amplifies a low power radio frequency signal to a larger amplitude. They are used in the transmission & receiving of RF signals in many wireless systems. In the Tx (transmit) process, they amplify the frequency signal before they are sent out via an antenna. In the Rx (receive) process, they amplify weak signals that are captured by the antenna with attempting to minimally distort the original RF signal. RF amplifiers have a wide range of applications in the wireless industry. Applications range from ilitary, test and measurement, mobile devices and wireless infrastructure and automotive industry to name a few.
Key specifications when looking for in an RF Amplifier:
Type: There are many types of rf and millimeter wave amplifiers
- RF Power Amplifiers: Power Amplifiers convert low power high frequency signals to high power signals via increased power/watts. They are used in the transmission process to amplify the signal when sent out via an antenna.
- Low Noise Amplifiers: RF Low noise amplifiers are used to amplify high frequency signals and maintain a good signal to noise ratio. Low noise amplifiers are used at the receiving transmission process to amplify a signal with minimal degradation. Noise being diluted information that is not used.
- Other Amplifiers: Many other amplifiers exist for radio frequency usage like gain blocks, differential amplifiers, driver amplifiers, limiting amplifiers, cryogenic LNAs etc.