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Industry News / Amplifiers / Semiconductors / Integrated Circuits

RFMD Unveils 400 W GaN High Power Amplifier Technology

June 20, 2008
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RF Micro Devices Inc., a global leader in the design and manufacture of high performance semiconductor components, unveiled a 400 W high power amplifier (HPA) that demonstrates the exceptional performance characteristics of RFMD's internally developed gallium nitride (GaN) process technology. The 400 W GaN HPAs are designed for air traffic control radar and ship-borne or ground-based pulsed S-band surveillance radar applications.


In radar applications RFMD's 400 W GaN HPAs operate over a frequency range of 2.9 to 3.5 GHz, from a 65 V supply delivering a power gain of 10.5 dB. Placed in a thermally efficiency, ceramic hermetically sealed package measuring only 24 x 17.4 mm, the 400 W GaN HPAs deliver power density and size advantages over competing silicon bipolar technologies. Further, RFMD's GaN process technology provides a larger bandwidth at a higher operating output power than silicon bipolar while maintaining an industry-leading drain efficiency of 50 percent across the band.

Another key area of differentiation for RFMD's GaN is its reliability. In S-band radar applications HPAs are combined in larger 2.5KW "pallet" amplifier assemblies with as many as eight or more HPAs utilized in each pallet. Traveling wave tubes (TWT) technology, traditionally used in these applications, are prone to reliability issues resulting in field failures and expensive replacement costs. With a mean-time-to-failure (MTTF) goal of 1E6 hours at a 200 degrees C junction temperature, RFMD's GaN technology will deliver superior reliability, resulting in a considerably lower total cost of ownership for customers.

"RFMD is committed to delivering a portfolio of highly competitive and compelling components for the aerospace & defense (A&D) marketplace," said Jeff Shealy, vice president and general manager of RFMD's Aerospace & Defense Business Unit. "RFMD's advancements in GaN process technologies are paving the way for a broad range of components for radar and other high power applications. Additionally, our longstanding relationships in the A&D market enable RFMD to engage key customers to evaluate these state-of-the-art process technology innovations."

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