Ampleon’s new 1200 W power transistor, the BLF978P, was developed for the solid-state power amplifiers (SSPA) used in particle accelerator systems. Fabricated using Ampleon’s latest Gen9, 50 V technology, the cost-effective LDMOS process enables the BLF978P to deliver high output power, excellent efficiency and outstanding reliability. For example, at 352 MHz, the device can deliver 1150 W CW output power at 1 dB gain compression with a typical drain efficiency of 76.7 percent.
Particle accelerators have historically used expensive high-voltage tube amplifiers such as klystrons and tetrodes. While offering high power, tubes are well known to create a single point of failure for a system. By combining multiple 1 kW SSPAs to generate the required 10 to 400 kW output power provides system redundancy, preventing accelerator “beam drop” if some SSPA modules fail.
Practical experience from accelerators in Europe and the U.S. has shown that LDMOS devices have much longer operating lifetimes - meaning zero failures - than tube amplifiers. This enables the particle accelerators to run with greater reliability, without the need to periodically shut down normal operation to replace a klystron or tetrode. As Ampleon’s advanced LDMOS technology enables a much lower $/W lifetime cost, many particle accelerators are replacing their klystron and tetrode amplifiers with LDMOS SSPAs.
BLF978P evaluation boards are available at several frequencies used by synchrotron and linear particle accelerators (linac). Devices and demo boards are available from RFMW, which offers technical support for applications from HF to 704 MHz.
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