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1 April 2008


Nitronex and Merrimac to develop highly integrated PAs for wireless infrastructure

A memorandum of understanding (MOU) has been agreed for the development of highly integrated power amplifiers using the proprietary Multi-Mix multilayer circuit technology of Merrimac Industries Inc of West Caldwell, NJ, USA and the high-power gallium nitride (GaN) transistor technology of Nitronex Corp of Durham, NC, USA.

Nitronex manufactures gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) RF power transistors for the commercial wireless infrastructure, broadband and military markets, while Merrimac designs and manufactures RF microwave signal processing components, subsystem assemblies, and Multi-Mix micro-multifunction modules (MMFM) for the defense, satellite communications (satcom), commercial wireless and homeland security markets.

Merrimac says that, due to its thermal dissipation, its Multi-Mix technology supports the design and manufacture of reliable high-power amplifiers using RF power transistor die rather than larger, more expensive packaged devices. The use of transistor die allows extensive use of automation in the amplifier manufacturing process, resulting in extremely compact, cost-effective, and highly integrated amplifiers suited to a wide range of commercial wireless infrastructure applications, including cellular and WiMAX basestations.

The firm says that its Multilayer Multi-Mix Microtechnology provides high levels of integration for both active and passive designs. Because Multi-Mix amplifier designs provide short, efficient thermal paths for active devices (even high-power-density devices such as the Nitronex GaN transistor die), they can be made very compact without the hot spots that can compromise reliability and amplifier operating lifetime. The technology is suitable for any high-power RF transistor technology in use in commercial and military applications, including gallium arsenide, silicon LDMOS, silicon carbide, and GaN.

Merrimac and Nitronex have agreed to consider the joint development of a roadmap for next-generation amplifier designs based on Merrimac’s Multi-Mix amplifier platform and Nitronex’s GaN transistor technology. The roadmap will include the development of prototype units to demonstrate the capabilities of the Multi-Mix GaN amplifiers for different frequency bands and applications.

“By combining the high power density of their GaN transistors with the excellent thermal properties of multilayer Multi-Mix Microtechnology, we are confident that we will develop new benchmarks in terms of the RF amplifier power/size ratio, reliability, and value for our customers,” says Merrimac’s chairman and CEO Mason N Carter.

See related items:

Nitronex develops 45W GaN-on-Si HEMT for high-PAR power amplifiers at 2.5 and 3.5GHz

Nitronex launches 5W GaN-on-Si pre-driver to complete amplifier line-up

Nitronex qualifies Durham wafer fab for volume production

Search: Nitronex GaN GaN-on-Si RF amplifier Base-stations