TriQuint Semiconductor, an RF semiconductor manufacturer and foundry services provider, released the first of its gallium nitride (GaN) power transistors for a wide range of high frequency applications including mobile base station, defense and space communications systems. TriQuint also announced opening the industry’s first GaN Foundry service for customers with circuit designs intended for production starts in September, 2008.

Gallium nitride represents the newest generation of amplifier technology with significantly greater power density than other processes. It offers considerable power savings and smaller device form factors for space-conscious design applications and helps improve electricity consumption, size and weight problems for a range of communications applications. The benefits lead to better performance and lower overall system costs for the customer, and can shrink carbon footprints for network system operators focused on reducing global warming.

TriQuint’s first high frequency GaN device family is being introduced at the IEEE IMS MTT-S Microwave Symposium in Atlanta, GA, June 15-20. These discrete die-level devices boast up to 2.5-times the power density of high voltage gallium arsenide devices. The new GaN devices operate up to 18 GHz, have 55 percent power added efficiency (PAE) and can produce up to 90 W of output power.

GaN power technology has garnered significant defense and commercial interest because of its ability to operate with substantially greater power density (more wattage per square millimeter) and efficiency compared to other commonly used solid-state amplifier technologies. These factors enable the development of more efficient, smaller amplifiers capable of operating at higher system voltages, which lower overall system current demand and reduce the cost of power conversion.

“TriQuint’s work on the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) contract for high power, high frequency amplifiers has progressed well. The new products we are announcing today represent our first commercial release and we’re excited about the opportunities this presents for customers,” remarked Gailon Brehm, director, TriQuint Defense Product Marketing. “GaN is one of several high power processes we offer customers, and its unique advantages - greater power density, high efficiency and rugged dependability - will appeal to designers working with high frequency, high power applications.”

In March, TriQuint announced the largest gallium nitride epitaxial wafer order in the history of IQE Plc. That order, with deliveries scheduled throughout 2008, will support ongoing development efforts and the roll-out of new commercial and defense products by TriQuint.

TriQuint announced June 18th that it is opening gallium nitride Foundry services beginning in September, 2008. Brehm remarked that TriQuint’s GaN Foundry services will initially target power amplifier applications through the Ku frequency band.

“Now that we’ve released the first member of our GaN discrete amplifier family for defense, commercial and space applications, we’re welcoming foundry customers who have their own circuit designs ready for September 2008 starts,” said Brehm. “We want to meet with customers, identify their needs and develop a successful implementation production schedule.”

Visit TriQuint’s IMS Booth 1027, June 17-19, in the Georgia World Congress Center.