Microwave Journal

RFMD Extends Portfolio of GaN Wideband Power Amplifiers

June 11, 2007

RF Micro Devices Inc. announced it has commenced shipments of its gallium nitride (GaN) RF3822 PowerIC broadband power amplifier (PA) to a top-tier military supplier. RFMD's RF3822 PowerIC delivers power performance over a frequency range of 0.1 GHz to 1 GHz and is ideally suited for multiple-band and broadband applications, such as software-defined radios (SDRs) for military communications.

RFMD anticipates the inherent performance advantages of its GaN technology, relative to competing technologies, give it the potential to penetrate high power amplifier (HPA) applications, such as military and wireless infrastructure, in much the same way GaAs HBT became the dominant technology for cellular power amplifiers.

According to Asif Anwar, director of the Strategy Analytics GaAs and Compound Semiconductor market research service, "Gallium nitride transistors and ICs from RFMD and a few other suppliers will capture a significant share of the $720+ M per year market for power amplifiers for 3G and WiMAX infrastructure, as well as a share in military and defense applications that require semiconductors with high RF output power and high efficiency with high bandwidth."

Jeff Shealy, vice president of RFMD's infrastructure product group, said, "These first shipments of RFMD's RF3822 demonstrate the increasing customer interest we are receiving in our GaN technology and associated GaN product portfolio. RFMD continues to attract very favorable customer interest from new and existing customers in multiple growth markets, including military communications, wireless infrastructure, public mobile radio, general purpose amplifiers and high power radar."

Bob Bruggeworth, RFMD's president and CEO, added, "RFMD's newly introduced GaN products are a natural fit with the existing multi-market products we manufacture using our proprietary GaAs technology. As the world's largest manufacturer of GaAs, RFMD brings tremendous leverage to these markets by utilizing the same manufacturing assets we employ to service the high volume cellular handset market. RFMD is leveraging our core strengths and leadership position in the cellular market to drive opportunities for revenue and customer diversification in new, high growth markets."

RFMD's 28 V GaN 10 W RF3822 PowerIC is optimized for high efficiency with 16 dB gain over a very wide operating bandwidth in a 50 ohm impedance environment. The RF3822 utilizes advanced heat sink and power dissipation technologies to deliver high output power with constant gain and excellent thermal stability.

The RF3822 is part of RFMD's RF382X product family and is packaged in a low cost, surface-mountable aluminum nitride package that is footprint compatible with industry-standard SOIC-8 packages. RFMD's RF382X product family offers integrated passive technology to achieve impedance matching and delivers very high peak efficiency across a wide range of frequencies. The RF382X product family is ideal for applications such as 3G cellular infrastructure, military communications, software definable radios (SDR) and public mobile radio.

In January, RFMD received a purchase order for its RF3825 GaN PowerIC broadband power amplifier from the same top-tier military supplier. The RF3825 is a 10 W device capable of servicing a frequency band from 0.2 to 1.9 GHz. RFMD is providing a demonstration of its RF3825 28 V broadband PowerIC at a frequency range of 225 to 1800 MHz during the IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium 2007 in Honolulu, HI, June 5-7, at Booth #801.