9 March 2010


Microsemi adds 1500W SiC RF power transistor for UHF pulsed radar

Microsemi Corp of Irvine, CA, USA, which manufactures analog mixed-signal integrated circuits and high-reliability semiconductors, has expanded its portfolio of high-power silicon carbide (SiC) transistors by launching a 1500W broadband transistor designed specifically for UHF-band pulsed radar in military and aerospace applications.

The 0405SC-1500M device from Microsemi's RF Integrated Solutions (RFIS) group uses SiC technology to provide 1500W peak power performance in a simple, compact single-ended impedance-matching package design that replaces complex push–pull balun circuitry found in conventional silicon BJT (bipolar junction transistor) or LDMOS (laterally diffused metal oxide semiconductor) solutions. The size is 50% smaller than equivalent silicon devices, it is reckoned.

The 0405SC-1500M is a common-gate, class AB, high-power transistor designed for UHF frequencies of 406–450MHz. It is fabricated with all-gold metallization and gold wires in a hermetic solder-sealed package, extending operating lifetime and providing military-grade long-term reliability for weather radar and over-the-horizon radar applications.

Microsemi says that the 0405SC-1500M uses a new chip design and processing enhancements to offer high performance, notably in high power, small transistor and circuit size over the specified frequency range with 300 microsecond pulse width and 6% duty cycle.

The firm adds that system benefits include:

  • what is claimed to be the industry's highest peak power for reduced system power (4-way combination yields 5kW with margin);
  • high operating voltage (Vdd = +125V) slashes power-supply size and DC current demand;
  • low conducting current minimizes system noise effect; and
  • extremely rugged performance improves system yields.

“This new 1500W device demonstrates our ability to extend this advanced technology through aggressive investment,” claims Microsemi RFIS vice president Charles Leader. “We now can support next-generation UHF radar designs with a full series of silicon carbide transistors having powers rated at 100W, 500W, 1000W and now the 0405SC-1500M at 1500W,” he adds.

Demo units for the entire line of Microsemi SiC transistors are available now.

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