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22 February 2016

MACOM launches Gen4-based family of GaN power transistors for wireless basestations

At the Mobile World Congress (MWC 2016) in Barcelona, Spain (22–25 February), M/A-COM Technology Solutions Inc of Lowell, MA, USA (which makes semiconductors, components and subassemblies for analog RF, microwave, millimeter-wave and photonic applications) has launched its MAGb series of GaN power transistors for use in wireless macro basestations.

Leveraging MACOM's Gen4 GaN technology, the new MAGb series is claimed to be the industry's first commercial basestation-optimized family of GaN transistors to achieve leadership efficiency, bandwidth and power gain with LDMOS-like linearity and cost structure, and a path to better-than-LDMOS cost at scaled volume production levels.

The MAGb series of power transistors targets all cellular bands within the 1.8-3.8GHz frequency range. Initial entries in the product series include single-ended transistors providing up to 400W peak power in small packages, dual-transistors and single-package Doherty configuration providing up to 700W peak power in both symmetric and asymmetric power options. The new product series delivers power efficiency improvement of up to 10% and package size reduction greater than 15% over legacy LDMOS offerings, it is reckoned. Based on linear Gen 4 technology, the MAGb is easy to linearize and correct with digital-pre-distortion (DPD) schemes compared with other GaN technologies, the firm claims.

The power transistors in the MAGb family cover much wider bandwidth than LDMOS, reducing the number of parts needed to cover the major cellular bands. The new product family delivers these advantages while simplifying the Doherty implementation over LDMOS-based transistors and maintaining over 200MHz of video bandwidth.

The MAGB-101822-120B0S is the first product in this family and covers 500MHz of RF bandwidth between 1.7GHz to 2.2GHz. It is housed in a small AC-400 ceramic package and delivers over 160W of peak power and a peak efficiency of 74% with fundamental tuning only and linear gain over 19dB across the 500MHz band.

Second in the series is the MAGB-101822-240B0S, which has double the output power of the MAGB-101822-120B0S with peak power over 320W, 19dB of linear gain and peak efficiency over 72% with fundamental tuning only across the 500MHz RF bandwidth, housed in the AC-780 ceramic package.

The peak efficiency of both new products can be further improved to well above 80% when the devices are presented with the proper harmonic terminations.

MACOM says that, by unleashing the efficiency, size and broadband advantages of its Gen4 GaN technology, the new series enables wireless carriers to deploy the latest LTE releases and significantly reduce operating expenses at highly competitive price points, with a scalable supply chain combined with MACOM's applications and design support team.

"Gen4 GaN positions MACOM at the vanguard of a transformative evolution in basestation power amplifiers, enabling a price/performance breakthrough that cannot be achieved with alternative semiconductor technologies," reckons Preet Virk, senior VP & general manager, Carrier Networks, at MACOM. "We anticipate that the wireless application expertise and commercial manufacturing scalability that MACOM brings to this domain via the MAGb product platform will vault GaN-based PAs into the mainstream, unlocking a host of benefits for the next generation of wireless base-stations."

As well as giving private demonstrations of MAGb products at the Mobile World Congress, MACOM will also be demonstrating the technology at the International Microwave Symposium (IMS 2016) in San Francisco (22–27 May).

Select products in MACOM's new MAGb series of GaN power transistors are sampling to qualified customers now.

See related items:

MACOM debuting new GaN power transistors for macro base-stations among expanded wireless infrastructure at Mobile World Congress

Tags: M/A-COM

Visit: www.macom.com/wirelessinfra

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