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Industry News / Semiconductors / Integrated Circuits

Microsemi Announces First Series of Silicon Carbide RF Power Devices

October 7, 2008
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Microsemi Corp., a manufacturer of high performance analog/mixed signal integrated circuits and high reliability semiconductors, announced its first two RF power transistors utilizing silicon carbide technology for high power VHF and UHF band pulsed radar applications.


"These are the first parts in a breakthrough series of silicon carbide RF power transistors Microsemi is now able to bring to the market, utilizing our new state-of-the-art production capabilities,” said Charlie Leader, vice president of Microsemi’s Power Products Group Military and Aerospace business in Santa Clara, CA.

“The performance of these new devices demonstrates the clear advantages silicon carbide technology brings to applications in avionics, radar and electronic warfare,” Leader said. “They also underscore the leadership position Microsemi’s Power Product Group has established in providing innovative and cost effective solutions for the most demanding RF pulsed power applications.”

Designated 0150SC-1250M and 0405SC-1000M, these RF power transistors utilize state-of-the-art silicon carbide technology designed for VHF - 150 to 160 MHz, and UHF - 406 to 450 MHz, respectively. These high performance, common gate, class AB, high power transistors offer the industry’s highest power output, typical 1400 W at VHF and 1100 W at UHF of peak power in compact single-ended packages.

Typical silicon-based RF power transistor solutions offered throughout the industry, such as BJT or LDMOS devices, must use complex push-pull designs to achieve similar power levels. Microsemi’s new silicon carbide devices also are built with 100 percent gold metallization and gold wires in hermetically sealed packages for the highest reliability in weather and long range radar applications.

As new system designs demand substantial performance increases beyond silicon capability, silicon carbide is the “Next Generation” technology. Microsemi will continue to develop and bring to market High Power SiC transistors for applications from HF thru S-band.

System benefits using Microsemi silicon carbide RF power transistors:
• Single-ended design with simplified impedance matching replaces complex push-pull circuitry
• Industry’s highest peak power reduces system power combining
• High operating voltage drastically reduces power supply size and DC current demand
• Low conducting current significantly minimizes system noise effect
• Extremely rugged performance improves system yields
• 50 percent smaller size than the highest power devices built with silicon BJT or LDMOS
• All gold metallization and gold wire provide military grade long-term reliability

Microsemi’s new silicon carbide products utilize new chip design and processing enhancements to offer state-of-the-art performance, notably in high power, small transistor and circuit size over the specified frequency range with 300 µs pulse width and 10 percent duty cycle.

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