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6 June 2013

Northrop Grumman samples GaN packaged power amplifier for Ka-band communications

Northrop Grumman Corp of Redondo Beach, CA, USA has developed a new gallium nitride (GaN) flange-packaged power amplifier targeting military and commercial Ka-band communication applications. The APN180FP represents the first commercial availability of a packaged, GaN-based component from the firm.

“The APN180FP provides customers with a powerful, easy-to-use, high-frequency product that greatly expands the accessibility of monolithic microwave integrated circuits [MMICs],” says Frank Kropschot, general manager of the Microelectronics Products and Services business unit of Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “Initial engineering evaluation sampling of prototypes is underway,” he adds. “Preproduction quantities will be available later this summer.”

The new amplifier is produced in Northrop Grumman’s advanced microelectronics wafer fabrication facility in Manhattan Beach, CA, which has provided large volumes of compound semiconductor products to both military and commercial customers for more than 20 years. “We are targeting the APN180FP for the growing Ka-band satellite communication terminal and the commercial wireless infrastructure markets,” Kropschot says.

The APN180FP is a 0.2mm GaN high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) MMIC power amplifier chip mounted in a flange mount package. It operates at 27-31GHz, and is optimized for 29-31GHz.

The power amplifier operates with a drain voltage of +28V and provides 21dB of linear gain, +37dBm (5.0W) of output power at 1dB gain compression, and +39dBm (8W) in saturation with power-added efficiency (PAE) of 26% at mid-band. For less-demanding applications, the APN180FP can be operated from a drain voltage as low as +20V while still producing +37dBm (5W) of saturated output power.

Limited engineering prototype samples are available from stock to qualified customers by e-mailing Microelectronics Products and Services at Preproduction quantities will be available in July, and production quantities in fourth-quarter 2013.

“This new product is a follow-on to the GaN MMICs we released in November 2012, and is the first of several package and module products we plan to introduce during the next few months,” Kropschot says.

The new power amplifier is based on MMICs using Northrop Grumman’s 0.2┬Ám GaN HEMT process developed partially under the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s Wide Band Gap Semiconductors for Radio Frequency program, which was the first of several key GaN technology development contracts awarded to Northrop Grumman beginning in 2002.

See related items:

Northrop Grumman goes commercial with three GaN HEMT MMIC PAs

Tags: Northrop Grumman GaN HEMTs


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