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Gain Block Specification Selection Guide
Noise Figure

  -----------------------------------Low Noise-----------------------------------
  MGA-725xx 1.4 dB
  MGA-875xx 1.5 dB
  MGA-855xx 1.6 dB
  INA-01xxx 1.7 dB
  INA-12xxx 2.0 dB
  MGA-865xx 2.0 dB
  INA-02xxx 2.0 dB
  --------------------------------Moderate Noise--------------------------------
  HPMX-3003 2.2 dB
  MGA-825xx 2.2 dB
  INA-03xxx 2.5 dB
  MGA-815xx 2.8 dB
  INA-51xxx 3.0 dB
  MSA-06xx 3.0 dB
  MSA-08xx 3.0 dB
  MSA-21xx 3.3 dB
  INA-30xxx 3.5 dB
  MSA-31xx 3.5 dB
  MSA-11xx 3.5 dB
  INA-50xxx 3.6 dB
  --------------------------------Gain Stage--------------------------------
  INA-10xxx 3.8 dB
  INA-52xxx 4.0 dB
  MSA-20xx 4.0 dB
  INA-32xxx 4.4 dB
  INA-34xxx 4.5 dB
  MSA-07xx 4.5 dB
  INA-54xxx 4.7 dB
  MSA-01xx 5.5 dB
  MGA-835xx 6 dB
  MSA-03xx 6 dB
  MSA-99xx 6 dB
  MSA-09xx 6 dB
  INA-31xxx 6.1 dB
  MSA-05xx 6.5 dB
  HMMC-5200 6.5 dB
  HMMC-5220 6.5 dB
  MSA-02xx 6.5 dB
  MSA-04xx 7 dB
  MGA-641xx 7.5 dB
  HMMC-5003 7.5 dB
  IVA-05xxx 9 dB
  IVA-14xxx 9 dB
  HPMX-3002 10 dB
  HMMC-5004 10 dB
    0             2               4               6               8               10  
  Noise Figure [dB]  

For a receiver, NF indicates the ability to discriminate the desired signal from background noise.
Good IC LNAs tend to have NFs in the 1 - 3 dB range; for better noise performance a tuned discrete transistor (often a MESFET or PHEMT) is typically required. For ICs intended for use as gain or power stages the NF will typically be in the 7 -10 dB range. NF increases with frequency and to a first order increases with bias.

NF really only matters when the device is used in a receiver and in a location where there is not a lot of gain in front of it (the noise contribution of a device is divided by the gain in front of it). Then lower is better.

1.5 - 10 dB (for lower noise figures, use a discrete transistor)

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this page last updated: 1 October 1999