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13 June 2008


Cree launches first catalog GaN MMIC amplifiers

Cree Inc of Durham, NC, USA has launched what it claims are the first commercially available gallium nitride monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) amplifiers.

Picture: CMPA0060005 and CMPA2560025 broadband power amplifier MMICs, available for sample release in packaged and die formats.

Available for sample release in both packaged and die formats, the two catalog broadband power amplifier MMICs integrate Cree’s GaN RF transistor technology with other circuit elements to form fully integrated amplifier circuits, allowing a dramatic reduction in size and increase in performance over hybrid amplifiers. Many RFICs can now be identically replicated on a single silicon carbide (SiC) substrate in a production process similar to that used for commercial microprocessors, the firm says.

The CMPA0060005 is a wideband distributed amplifier operating at a voltage of 28-48V with up to 5W of CW RF output power from DC to 6GHz (with a high wideband DC to RF efficiency of typically 25%).

The CMPA2560025 is a higher-power, 25W reactively matched amplifier operating at 28V from 2.5 to 6GHz with broadband DC to RF efficiency of typically 30-45%. Both are suitable for a variety of applications where high power over broad bandwidths is required, e.g. a pair of CMPA2560025s, driven by a CMPA0060005, can provide over 40dB gain with an output power up to 50W in the 2.5-6GHz band.

Both GaN MMIC products will be demonstrated at next week’s 2008 IEEE/MTT-S International Microwave Symposium in Atlanta, GA, USA (15-20 June).

“The introduction of the industry's first off-the-shelf ‘catalog’ GaN MMICs continues to set Cree apart,” says Jim Milligan, director of RF and microwave products. “These products can provide our customers with the performance improvement and size reduction benefits of microwave circuit integration in convenient ‘drop-in’ 50 ohm amplifiers.”

“This MMIC milestone is the culmination of many years of internal investment and external support from the US Department of Defense, the Title III Office, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA),” says Dr John Palmour, executive VP for advanced devices. Cree is seeing the results of these efforts beginning to pay off for both the military and commercial markets, he adds.

*Cree has also expanded its standard full-wafer (SFW) MMIC Foundry service to include shared multi-project (SMP) ‘pizza mask’ foundry runs on a quarterly basis, available for both SiC MESFET and GaN HEMT MMIC processes. The SMP foundry service suits lower-cost prototyping of SiC or GaN MMICs by allowing customers to purchase a portion of a shared multi-project wafer, says Milligan.

See related items:

Cree launches first GaN HEMTs for 5GHz WiMAX

Cree samples new GaN HEMTs for WiMAX and launches AWR PDK for high-power GaN MMIC process

Search: Cree GaN MMIC SiC MESFET GaN HEMT SiC substrate