The EDI CON 2014 GaN Panel sponsored by Richardson RFPD is a moderated round table discussion among RF (Gallium Nitride) GaN experts from Freescale, MACOM, Microsemi,  Nitronex and TriQuint. The panelists will discuss the attributes of GaN for RF applications including wireless, automotive, multimedia and communications, covering the semiconductors strengths and weaknesses for addressing specific applications compared to other existing technologies and its outlook for development and adoption in new application targeting higher frequency green-field initiatives.

Additional Topics to be discussed include:

  • Thermal management and optimization
  • Broadband performance and applications
  • Ruggedness and reliability advantages
  • Packaging requirements
  • Cost drivers and pricing

The panel will be moderated by Patrick Hindle, Technical Editor of Microwave Journal. Mr. Hindle has more than 25 years experience in the RF and microwave industry with management experience in marketing communications, project management, technical marketing and editing, product and quality management. His technical degree in material science from Cornell University led to an early career as an RF/microwave compound semiconductor process engineer. As technical editor, he frequently interacts with leading GaN technologists as they develop technical articles relating to their company’s recent GaN developments. Among his numerous published articles, Mr. Hindle authored the Microwave Journal June 2012 cover feature, “Future RF Market Opportunities for GaN” and was the MC for the Strategy Analytics GaN Panel at the 2012 IMS in Montreal, Canada.

Overview of participating companies and their expert panelists:

Freescale Semiconductor

Panelist: Eric Westberg, Portfolio Manager Cellular Infrastructure

Freescale Semiconductor, Inc. continues to add to the industry’s most comprehensive portfolio of power amplifier solutions by introducing GaN RF power amplifier products. The company’s GaN products target applications in the cellular infrastructure with an emphasis on solutions requiring high power and high efficiency such as final stage amplifiers for cellular bands between 1.8GHz and 3.5GHz. The benefits of GaN can also be realized for wideband applications such as multi-band (136-941MHz) power amplifiers for land mobile devices.

Bio: Eric Westberg is a portfolio manager for cellular infrastructure RF products at Freescale Semiconductor. In addition to product management he has held engineering and management positions in application engineering, systems engineering and business development in the wireless and semiconductor industries. Eric earned his master’s degree in electrical engineering from Arizona State University and undergraduate degrees from Wheaton College and the Illinois Institute of Technology. 


Panelist: Damian McCann, Director of Engineering

MACOM offers a family of GaN RF power transistors and pallets targeting L- and S-Band pulsed radar applications. Leveraging the company’s rich heritage of providing both standard and custom solutions to meet the most demanding customer needs, MACOM offers GaN products with high breakdown voltage, superior power density, and higher and broader frequency operation than Silicon. MACOM’s Director of Engineering, Damian McCann will provide insight into the use of GaN devices from an applications perspective.

Bio: Mr. Damian McCann is Director of Engineering for M/A-COM Technology Solutions (MACOM). In this capacity he is actively leading the development of innovative GaN solutions at MACOM’s facility in Long Beach, CA with emphasis on cost effective design, manufacturing and packaging techniques for RF & microwave power generation. Mr. McCann completed under graduate and postgraduate work at Queens University in Belfast, N. Ireland in 1984. He has also completed his Certificate Degree in Marketing from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1997. Mr. McCann has been focused on RF & microwave semiconductors for power generation for over 25 years.


Panelist: Jerry Chang, Director of Transistor Engineering 

Microsem offers GaN multi-octave and application-specific narrowband amplifiers covering frequencies to 10.7 GHz and operating at voltages between +28VDC to +50VDC (design dependent) in small convenient packages. Catalog designs offer power levels up to 20 Watts with custom designs to 100 Watts are available. Standard options such as TTL On/Off, Integrated Output Isolator, Over-Temperature Shut-down, Power Detectors at various frequency and gain specifications are available. Director of Transistor Engineering, Jerry Chang will discuss GaN in the context of applications, including avionics such as TPR (Transponder), IFF (Identify Friend and Foe), MDS (Mode-S), MDSELM, Data Link; radar applications such as ATC (Air Traffic Control) radar, phase array radar, weather radar, long range radar, surveillance radar; medical radiation application; and communication systems.

Bio: Jerry W. Chang, director of transistor engineering in Microsemi RFIS Transistor Solution, manages the transistor engineering department and leads the product development team designing state-of-the-art high power transistors and modules utilizing Si BJT, SiC SIT and GaN HEMT technologies for radar, avionics and communication markets. Prior to joining Microsemi, Chang worked in engineering, business development and product line manager for Signal Technology, Watkins-Johnson and CTT Inc. In these positions, he has been intimately involved in a wide variety of GaAs based RF/ microwave components, amplifier and subsystem designs, technology development, business strategy and volume manufacturing operation. He holds an MBA degree from Santa Clara University, an MSEE degree from UC San Diego, California, and a BSEE degree from Chiao-Tung University in Taiwan.

Nitronex LLC

Panelist: David W. Runton, VP Engineering,

Nitronex develops and manufactures a wide range of GaN-on-Si RF power transistors and MMICs for commercial and military markets. Unlike digital CMOS, the silicon used by Nitronex has a high resistivity (10,000 Ω/cm) which provides excellent loss characteristics at RF and microwave frequencies. The company’s current portfolio includes discrete transistor products ranging from DC-6 GHz, and 5W to over 200W of output power in addition to highly integrated standard and custom MMIC and hybrid products. David Runton, VP of Engineering will talk about the company’s GaN process and provide insights into the various GaN process technologies on the market and how they vary in their impact on RF performance.

Bio:  David Runton received his Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Physics from Jacksonville University in Jacksonville, FL in 1993, a Bachelor of Electrical Engineering (1993) and Master of Science in Electrical Engineering (MSEE) from Georgia Tech in 1994.  He has also received a Master of Business Administration as part of the High Technology Program from Arizona State University in 1999.  He has held positions as an RF Design and Applications Engineer with Motorola Semiconductor (now Freescale Semiconductor), lead the High Power GaN engineering team at RFMD, and is currently Vice President of Engineering at Nitronex LLC in Morrisville, NC. 

TriQuint Semiconductor

Panelist: Ting Xiong

TriQuint offers a broad portfolio of GaN HEMT products with varying levels of power and frequency ratings, in both die-level and packaged solutions. These products provide the high performance of GaN with the convenience of industry-standard packaging, which speeds design and manufacturing. Key benefits include high efficiency and power density, superior gain, ruggedness and ability to operate over a wide bandwidth and record-setting reliability for applications such as military and civilian radar, communications, test instrumentation and base stations. TBD, will represent TriQuint’s broad GaN product portfolio, the underlying proprietary technology and considerations for optimum utilization in the field.

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