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13 January 2009


Mitsubishi launches Ka-band plastic-package low-noise GaAs HEMT

Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Electric Corp has launched the MGF4963BL, a Ka-band plastic-package low-noise GaAs high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) that is suited to low-noise amplifiers in 18-20GHz band direct broadcast satellite (DBS) reception systems and very small aperture terminal (VSAT) systems.

Satellite communication systems have traditionally used mainly Ku-band DBS systems with a downlink of 12GHz and an uplink of 14GHz. With the recent development and spread of high-speed data links and high-definition broadcasting, increased attention is being paid to Ka-band DBS systems, which are more suitable for high-speed and high-volume data communication with a downlink of 20GHz and an uplink of 30GHz, says Mitsubishi Electric. Especially in North America, the service area for DBS systems that deliver high-definition TV (HDTV) content is expanding.

In broadcast satellite reception systems, a reception converter inside the antenna receives 20GHz waves from satellites and converts them into 1GHz band intermediate-frequency waves to be sent to the tuner. HEMTs are used in low-noise amplifiers for these reception converters. In the first stage of low-noise amplifiers, where low noise performance is required, ceramic package HEMTs are typically used due to their high performance, despite their high price. However, with the spread of HDTV content delivered via Ka-band DBS, there is an increasing demand for first-stage HEMTs with high performance at a lower price.

Due to its plastic package, the MGF4963BL HEMT is more cost effective than ceramic-packaged models. Also, with a chip structure optimized to suit 20GHz band transmission, it achieves what is claimed to be industry-best low-noise and high-gain characteristics. Compared to the firm’s MGF4941AL model for 12GHz (measured at 20GHz), the new MGF4963BL has a 0.05dB better noise figure (NFmin) and a 3dB better associated gain (Gs) of 13.5dB.

These improvements enable DBS and VSAT reception system manufacturers to use the product not only in the first stage of low-noise amplifiers (where low NF is essential) but also in the second/third stages (where high Gs is important), contributing to cost reduction in DBS and VSAT reception systems.

Also, the MGF4963BL has an industry-standard micro-X package with a footprint that is unchanged from previous models, helping to shorten development time for satellite communication equipment manufacturers.

Shipments will begin on 25 February at a production rate of 1 million per month. The sample is price 50 yen.

Mitsubishi Electric adds that it aims in future to increase its lineup of plastic-package HEMTs for higher frequencies.

See related items:

Mitsubishi Electric launches low-noise GaAs HEMT for satellite digital radio

DBS GaAs component volumes to be driven by digital video

Mitsubishi Electric installs Aixtron MOCVD reactor for blue-violet lasers

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