Linear Technology announces the LTC5551, an ultra-high-dynamic range RF down-converting mixer for applications that demand the very-best in performance. The LTC5551 offers very-high linearity of 36 dBm IIP3, (input third-order intercept), and low 9.7 dB noise figure comparable to the highest IIP3 passive mixers available. Unlike passive mixers which typically have 7 dB to 9 dB of conversion loss, the LTC5551 boasts 2.4 dB of conversion gain, substantially improving receiver dynamic range. The device also has broad RF frequency range capability, operating from 300 MHz to 3.5 GHz.
Additionally, passive mixers require high LO (local oscillator) drive to reach their claimed IIP3. The LTC5551 has an integrated LO buffer requiring only 0 dBm drive level, hence, external circuitry and costs are minimized. With the elimination of a high-power LO signal in the user's receiver, it substantially reduces a potential source of undesirable radiation, thus simplifying filtering and RF shielding requirements.