8 June 2011

M/A-COM Tech launches GaN RF power transistors for L- and S-band pulsed radar

At this week’s IEEE International Microwave Symposium (IMS 2011) in Baltimore, MD, USA (7–9 June), M/A-COM Technology Solutions Inc of Lowell, MA, USA (which makes semiconductors, components, and subassemblies for RF, microwave and millimeter-wave applications) is introducing a new family of gallium nitride (GaN) RF power transistors, targeting L- and S-band pulsed radar applications.

M/A-COM Tech’s GaN on silicon carbide (SiC) products — offered as transistors and pallets — use a 0.5 micron high-electron-mobility (HEMT) process and exhibit what are described as attractive RF performance parameters with respect to power, gain, gain flatness, efficiency and ruggedness over wide-operating bandwidths. Benefits of the GaN products include high breakdown voltage, superior power density, and higher and broader frequency operation than silicon, M/A-COM Tech adds.

“Our highly versatile family of GaN products offers customers a single solution combining both the high power handling and high-voltage operation typically found in silicon LDMOS devices, but with higher-frequency performance more often associated with GaAs devices,” says CEO Chuck Bland. 

The latest market information from the firm ABI Research shows increasing demand for high-power, pulsed RF devices in S- and L-band air-traffic control, marine, and military radar applications. “M/A-COM Technology Solutions’ silicon-based products have been a major force for high-power, pulsed RF applications in the S- and L-band radar market, and the extension into GaN technology positions their product line for continued market leadership,” comments Lance Wilson, ABI's research director, RF Components & Systems.

Engineering samples for GaN transistors and pallets are available for qualified customers from stock (the products are subject to the jurisdiction of the Export Administration Regulations, so shipments to certain destinations may require an export license).

M/A-COM Tech plans to release later this year additional products that target applications such as L-band radar, avionics, electronic warfare (EW), and military communications (MilCom), as well as general-purpose devices.

Tags: M/A-COM Tech GaN RF power transistors L- and S-band pulsed radar

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