17 November 2011

Nitronex develops 48V GaN-on-Si for cooler, more reliable RF power products

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 a 48V GaN-on-Si process platform. The new NRF2 platform delivers double the power density, 1-2dB higher gain, improved broadband performance, higher breakdown voltage and higher supply voltage operation compared with the firm’s existing 28V NRF1 process technology. Initial 48V samples are available now, with pre-production and production quantities available in early 2012.

The NRF2 process platform leverages the existing NRF1 platform, which has been used to ship more than 500,000 production devices (including more than 50,000 MMICs) since volume shipments began in 2009. However, the new technology further increases reliability for GaN-on-Si, with more than 1 million hours (114 years) mean time to failure (MTTF) at an operating junction temperature of 230°C using a stringent 10% drift failure criteria. In addition, improvements in thermal management in initial 48V products have demonstrated a reduction in thermal resistance of more than 40% compared with existing Nitronex products.

“A robust and reliable high-voltage process can deliver superior performance in high-power RF applications,” says VP of engineering Ray Crampton. “We have developed several semi-custom products for customers with high-volume applications using the NRF2 48V technology,” he adds. “In addition to increased reliability and RF performance, we have demonstrated robustness to 15:1 output VSWR at all angles at 90°C flange temperature under saturated drive conditions.”

Nitronex claims that its patented SIGANTIC GaN-on-Si process is the only production-qualified GaN process using an industry-standard 4” silicon substrate. The firm says that this results in a robust, scalable supply chain and positions it well for the growth expected from emerging GaN markets such as military communications, CATV, radar, commercial wireless, satellite communications and point-to-point microwave. Additional technology under development includes a 48V MMIC process platform.

Tags: Nitronex MMIC PA GaN

Visit: www.nitronex.com

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