21 May 2010


Cree expands GaN MMIC power amplifier range through X-band, launching first commercial GaN LNA

Cree Inc of Durham, NC, USA has developed five new GaN HEMT MMIC amplifiers that increase its power amplifier frequency range through X-band and include the firm's first GaN low-noise amplifier (LNA) MMIC product. As part of a sample release, the MMICs are available as bare die now and should be available in packaged formats later this year.

The MMICs provide GaN solutions that improve system performance beyond what can be realized using traditional GaAs MMIC technology for applications such as communication systems, homeland defense, electronic warfare and radar from S-band through X-band, says Jim Milligan, director of RF & Microwave Products. Using Cree's proven GaN MMIC process provides an attractive combination of power, efficiency and linearity, he adds.

The CMLA2540001D is claimed to be the first commercially available GaN HEMT low-noise amplifier (LNA) MMIC, and operates over the 2.5-4GHz band with small-signal gain of 28dB and input/output return losses of more than 10dB. Operating at 24V, the device has a noise figure of better than 2dB over the entire frequency range, with a typical value of 1.7dB. Input/output third-order intercept points are 12 and 38dBm, respectively. While allowing improved linearity and input power handling for radar and other S-band applications, the LNA occupies a small chip size of just 1.7mm x 2.5mm (67 mil x 98 mil).

The CMPA2060025D MMIC power amplifier delivers about 25W of output power from 2 to 6GHz, improving the performance and extending the frequency coverage of Cree’s CMPA2560025D Series devices down to 2.0GHz. Power gain over the band is 17dB with input/output return losses of better than 7dB. The MMIC shows power added efficiency (PAE) of typically 35% over the entire frequency range and has dimensions of 3.67mm x 3.61mm (144 mil x 142 mil). The wide-band PA suits homeland defense and electronic warfare applications, says Cree.

The CMPA2735075D high-power amplifiers provide 75W of output power with a typical PAE of 60% over an instantaneous bandwidth of 2.7-3.5GHz. Suiting civil and military radar applications that require significant power, gain and efficiency within a small footprint, Cree claims that it is one of the smallest MMIC high-power amplifiers available covering this bandwidth, measuring just 4.42mm x 5mm (173 mil x 197 mil). The amplifier operates at 28V with 20dB of power gain (typical), and is matched to 50 ohms input/output, requiring minimal off-chip bias bypassing.

The CMPA5585025D provides more than 25W output power over the 5-8GHz band and suits applications in point-to-point radios, satcom, test instrumentation and EMC amplifiers, says Cree. The MMIC provides 20dB power gain with typical power added efficiencies of more than 38% within a footprint of just 17.25mm 2 (0.027 in 2).

The CMPA801B025D MMIC power amplifier covers the 8-11GHz range with typical output power capability of 25W, and - featuring 18dB of power gain with typical power added efficiencies of 35% in an extremely small size of 4.78mm x 3.61mm (188 mil x 142 mil) - has applications in satellite communications and both civilian and military radar.

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