18 February 2010


RFHIC launches 20W GaN-on-SiC power amplifier covering 20–1000MHz

RFHIC Corp of Suwon, South Korea, a manufacturer of gallium nitride and gallium arsenide active RF & microwave components and hybrid modules for telecom and broadcast markets, has introduced a molded GaN-on-SiC power amplifier generating 20W and covering the frequencies 20–1000MHz. 

The RWS05020-10 is based on gallium nitride on silicon carbide (GaN-on-SiC) transistors, providing good reliability at high temperature, as well as 36dB of gain and a typical 43dBm @ P3dB with 50% efficiency. Moreover, the physical size is just 2.1” x 1” x 0.5”.

“RWS05020-10 is a miniaturized wideband amplifier, a newly developed hybrid,” says chief technical officer Dr Samuel Cho. RFHIC has incorporated pin types for both DC and RF port to make the product easy to use, he adds. The RWS05020-10 also has a bolted-down structure and operates at 28V with 51dBm @ OIP3.

RFHIC says that, as GaN devices are actively evolving, reliability is improving while they are also becoming more cost-effective. In addition, the firm has been developing more thermally robust designs, and the substrate material has been migrated from silicon to silicon carbide (SiC), enhancing reliability and efficiency further, directly addressing the increasing 'green' concerns of both policy makers and end users (who are also calling for smaller systems, without sacrificing performance). In particular, for sub L-band frequencies, there are many obstacles to be overcome in order to shrink the size of power amplifiers.

Last June, RFHIC entered an agreement for Cree Inc of Durham, NC, USA to supply GaN-on-SiC transistors for RFHIC's GaN HEMT amplifier product families. Cree and RFHIC also entered into a marketing cooperation agreement to enable deeper market penetration of GaN HEMT solutions by leveraging Cree’s MMIC foundry capability coupled with RFHIC’s capabilities in packaging, amplifier integration and volume assembly. “We initially pursued a GaN-on-Si HEMT approach, but converted our product line and future direction to Cree’s GaN-on-SiC HEMT technology based on its superior thermal and electrical characteristics as well as its outstanding robustness and reliability,” said Cho at the time. “The combination of Cree’s and RFHIC’s core strengths will accelerate GaN HEMT market penetration in the cellular infrastructure, two-way communication, CATV amplifier, and a variety of other emerging market segments,” added Jim Milligan, Cree’s director of RF and Microwave products. 

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