7 June 2011

Nitronex announces smallest broadband 5W PA

Nitronex Corp of Durham, NC, USA, which designs and makes gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) RF power transistors for the defense, communications, cable TV, and industrial & scientific markets, has developed what it claims is the industry's smallest broadband 5W power amplifier (PA) solution. 

The NPA1003 has a 4mm x 4mm thermally enhanced QFN package with RF input and output matched to 50 ohms.  The highly integrated GaN MMIC requires just an external resistor and inductor to provide bias. With output power of more than 5W from 20MHz to 1500MHz and typical efficiency of more than 50%, the overall solution size is less than 0.25 square inches (smaller than any competing solution, it is claimed).

“This new device has filled a market void with the right power, gain, frequency response, compact size, and ease of use all at the right price point,” reckons VP of sales & marketing Gary Blackington. “We have already achieved several design-ins at top tier accounts,” he adds.

“Nitronex’s MMIC process was established under a joint development agreement with a large military contractor, resulting in a fully qualified, production-ready process in July 2009,” notes VP of engineering Ray Crampton. “We have worked with multiple strategically selected customers since 2009 to develop and productize custom MMICs, and have shipped more than 50,000 production devices to customers,” he adds.  “Nitronex’s proprietary GaN-on-Si process has a significant advantage over our competitors using SiC substrates,” Crampton claims. “Our superior starting substrate quality and cost structure allow us to develop high-performance, large-area MMICs at competitive prices which gives us the freedom to solve customer problems in ways our competitors can not.”

Nitronex’s qualified MMIC process is based on a 28V, 0.5µm gate-length GaN high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) and features high-voltage capacitors, air bridges, through-wafer vias, nichrome and epi resistors, and two levels of metal interconnect. Further, a 3.5µm plated gold top metallization results in low-loss inductors, and a high-resistivity silicon substrate is used which supports low-loss transmission lines to over 20GHz. Nitronex also works closely with strategic customers in both foundry and custom MMIC development activities.

Tags: Nitronex GaN GaN HEMT

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