Gary Lerude, MWJ Technical Editor
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Gary Lerude

Gary Lerude is the Technical Editor of Microwave Journal. Previously, he spent his career as a “midwife” aiding the growth of the compound semiconductor industry, from device to application, from defense to commercial. He spent 19 years at Texas Instruments, 11 years at MACOM and six years with TriQuint. Gary holds a bachelor’s in EE, a master’s in systems engineering and an engineers degree (ABD) in EE.

Weekly Report

For the week ending March 13

March 15, 2015

Companies

ANADIGICS told analysts at the ROTH Capital conference last week that their strategy pivot to infrastructure is working, with a 60/40 split expected in the March quarter. The company will continue to opportunistically serve mobile where design wins offer attractive margins. The third leg of the stool: a 6 inch VCSEL foundry strategy to increase fab utilization. Review their full presentation below:

Reuters reports that Avago pursued Freescale but dropped out when word leaked that Freescale was being shopped and Freescale's share price surged. NXP won the deal and will pay $11.8 billion.

How has Ericsson managed to remain a top telecom player despite intense competition and rapid shifts in wireless technology? Change, even if painful CEO Hans Vestberg tells The Wall Street Journal. Within a week, Ericsson announced more change: the next step in their “cost and efficiency” program, cutting 2200 positions from R&D and supply groups in Sweden.

Beginning April 1 (no joke), Mitsubishi will sample 9 and 100 W GaN HEMTs for 3.5 GHz BTS applications. The company says the 100 W device achieves 74 percent drain efficiency with 17 dB linear gain. The 9 W device achieves 67 percent efficiency with 19 dB linear gain. Both operate with 50 V bias.

NXP introduced three 1.2 GHz, high linearity, medium power amplifiers for CATV infrastructure. Models BGA3021, BGA3022, and BGA3023 cover 40 to 1200 MHz with 16, 18, and 20 dB gain, respectively. The amplifiers are designed for 75 ohms and have output power of 30 dBm and IP3 of approximately 47 dBm.

Raytheon received a Laureate Award from Aviation Week for innovation in introducing GaN to military radar systems.

Resonant announced that a second customer has engaged them to design a SAW duplexer for a “hard” cellular band, to replace a higher cost BAW filter. This follows the announcement that the company delivered a duplexer design to their first customer, although it “does not meet all the specifications in the development agreement.”

Technology

GaN on silicon (Si) for power electronics seems to be gaining momentum:

TI introduced a GaN FET module and has published a white paper on their approach to assuring GaN on Si reliability for power electronics.

Infineon will license Panasonic's enhancement mode GaN on Si technology to dual source 600 V power devices.

China's Skysilicon is reported to have released China's first GaN MISHEMT (metal insulator semiconductor HEMT) for power electronics on 8 inch silicon wafers.

Relevance for RF? MACOM's low-cost GaN on Si strategy for RF is based on the assumption that they can leverage the cost structure of fabs running high volume GaN on Si wafers for power electronics.

Markets and Applications

A couple more items to report from this year's Mobile World Congress (MWC): My colleagues Pat Hindle and Richard Mumford attended MWC and report that 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT) were the dominant themes. Also, industry analyst Caroline Gabriel summarized her impressions from the operator and system perspective, including IoT, macro BTS, small cells, and 5G.

China Mobile and Ericsson reported lab and field trials of TDD LTE-A at 3.5 GHz that achieved 233 Mbps downlink data rates using a 20 MHz channel.

The FCC's “Open Internet” order is online on their website, including the opinions of the dissenting commissioners.

When you have a few minutes to read and reflect, peruse this history of the web, compiled by the Pew Research Center. How much of it did you live through and how much do you still recall? Amazing times.


Are there other companies or markets that you'd like me to follow? Leave a comment, and I'll add them to my list.

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