Freescale modernizes microwave oven industry with solid-state RF power
Freescale Semiconductor is disrupting the microwave oven industry with additions to its RF heating portfolio: two new cost-effective, solid-state RF power transistor products and an application development ecosystem. The additions are engineered to enable consumer and commercial microwave oven appliance OEMs to create differentiated solutions and novel product types for a new cooking paradigm.
Solid-state RF power technology delivers highly efficient and controllable RF energy without performance degradation over time, providing customers with a longer lasting and economically feasible alternative to legacy magnetron-based microwave systems.
“Solid-state RF power is a major leap forward for the market, and what we know as microwave cooking and how it’s performed over the last 30 years is all about to change,” said Paul Hart, senior vice president and general manager of Freescale’s RF business. “Freescale’s full suite of RF heating products and essential development tools will enable our customers to create differentiated products that cook more efficiently, more effectively, and with greater consistency and higher quality.”
Freescale’s new solid-state RF devices are purpose-built to withstand harsh RF heating environments, and are the industry’s first products housed in affordable plastic packages to operate at 915 MHz and 2.45 GHz. In contrast with traditional magnetron technology that relies on a crude on-off control where energy arbitrarily fills the microwave cavity and can result in uneven cooking, these solid-state devices enable a more effective use of energy that allows RF energy to be controlled and opens up new possibilities for imaginative oven shapes, sizes and functionalities. A magnetron can begin to lose its ability to produce RF energy after as little as 500 operating hours. Solid-state RF power has demonstrated reliability of up to a 20-year lifetime under continuous use, without performance degradation. This reliability helps to ensure that food cooks consistently over the appliance’s lifetime and reduces commercial kitchen downtime and repairs.
Solid-state RF power technology offers a new world of opportunity for differentiated cooking and longer lasting products. By controlling where and when the RF energy is directed, OEMs can develop innovative cooking products such as ovens that allow for more precise cooking, greater consistency in quality of cooking, selective heating, and versatile and complex cooking combinations.
Freescale’s new portfolio of high-power, high-efficiency RF heating products includes the MHT1003N, a 250 W transistor with 58 percent power added efficiency for 2.45 GHz microwave oven applications, and the MHT1002N, a 350 W transistor with 63 percent power added efficiency for 915 MHz microwave applications. The devices are supported with Freescale’s innovative RF Power Tool system, which provides the capabilities required for operation, evaluation and optimization of Freescale’s industrial RF power devices. Available in Freescale’s cost-effective over-molded plastic packages, the MHT1003N and MHT1002N provide industry-leading performance and address the cost challenges of the microwave appliance industry.
RF Power Tool system
Freescale recognizes that enablement is key in the RF appliance industry, where customers may have little RF circuit design expertise and typically no RF lab instrumentation. Freescale recently introduced the RF Power Tool system to simplify the development of RF power applications and reduce time to market.
The only comprehensively integrated RF power application development system on the market, Freescale’s RF Power Tool system provides OEMs with portable, multi-functional instrumentation capabilities for key amplifier operation and measurements including gain, efficiency, bandwidth and bias requirements. The RF Power Tool system integrates multiple RF instrument capabilities into a single compact unit, thereby minimizing the size, cost and complexity of RF lab equipment needed for application development and reducing the need for a full bench of RF evaluation equipment. The system can be operated directly from a PC or front panel interface, and can be installed and operational in only minutes at a cost significantly lower than a traditional RF bench setup.
Availability and pricing
The MHT1003N and MHT1002N RF power transistors are available in the OM-780-2L and -4L packages, for $37.00 and $26.00 (USD) in 10K quantities, respectively. For more information, visit http://www.freescale.com/RFheating.
The Freescale RF Power Tool system (RFPOWERTOOL1000) is available now from Freescale Buy Direct for a price of $5,500 (USD) per development system. The compatible MHT1003N evaluation board (RFPT-H2450-250) is also available from Buy Direct for a price of $1,650 (USD). For more information, visit http://www.freescale.com/RFpowertool.