Toshiba America Electronic Components Inc. (TAEC) and its parent company, Toshiba Corp., announced its first commercially available gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) at the IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium, June 5-7, in Honolulu, HI. The GaN HEMT is an X-band device targeted for radar and medical applications.

The TGI8596-50 is an internally matched GaN HEMT power amplifier that operates in the 8.5 to 9.6 GHz range with output power of 50 W. The device features a 3 dB compression point of 47.5 dBm 1 (typ.), linear gain of 9.0 dB1 (typ.) and drain current of 4.5 Amps1 (typ.). Targeted applications for this device include radar systems and medical applications, such as use in oncology.

"GaN HEMT amplifiers have the potential to achieve significantly higher gain and output power than GaAs FETs at comparable frequency and input power," said Homayoun Ghani, business development manager, Microwave, Logic and Small Signal Devices, TAEC's Discrete Business Unit. As a follow-on to this initial device, Toshiba is also developing C- and Ku-band GaN HEMTs for satellite communications applications.

Last year, Toshiba announced prototypes and presented technical papers on a 6 GHz, C-band, GaN power FET with output power of 174 W and a 9.5 GHz, X-band power FET with output power of 81.3 W. Each of these devices achieved the highest output power reported at their respective frequencies as of the date of their announcements in June and November 2006, and show the potential increase in power output that can be achieved with GaN semiconductors.