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30 January 2009


IXYS launches GaN RF power amplifier for WiMAX/WLAN

IXYS Corp subsidiary MicroWave Technology Inc (MwT) of Fremont, CA, USA, which manufactures GaAs-based devices, MMICs, and amplifier modules for microwave and wireless communications, has introduced a family of three high-linearity and high-efficiency RF power amplifiers (PAs) based on gallium nitride device technology.

The MGA-242740-02, MGA-495922-02 and MGA-4959-02 power amplifiers are targeted at 802.16d/e WiMAX applications and 802.11 WLAN-related applications in three frequencies bands: 2.4–2.7GHz, 3.3-3.8GHz, 4.9–5.9GHz GHz, respectively. All three parts have a high output power of 10W (40dBm) measured at 3dB gain compression point and a linear power gain of 12–15dB. The GaN-based RF power amplifier parts have achieved extraordinary 23% power-added efficiency at 2W (33dBm) linear power (burst power) with 2.5% EVM (error vector magnitude) under the 64 QAM 802.16 WiMAX digital signal modulation scheme.

The linear power efficiency performance is double that achieved with GaAs or silicon LDMOS-based PA counterparts, reckons MwT general manager Dr Greg Zhou. “We have demonstrated the excellent suitability of GaN-based power devices for the applications we target and also the advanced microwave/RF amplifier design capabilities of our company,” he adds. “We will continue to leverage the advantages of the microwave/RF GaN power device technology with high reliability and expand the product family to other applications that demand high linear power and power-added efficiency performances, including military and high-reliability applications.”

The GaN-based power amplifiers, biased at 28V on drain with quiescent current of 80–300mA, are available in various packages including low-cost surface-mount 02 packages. The MTBF (mean time before failure) for the GaN-based microwave/RF power amplifiers is more than 100 years at 85ºC ambient temperature. Evaluation boards for power amplifiers in 02 packages are available.

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