22 June 2021
Qorvo ships first commercially available reconfigurable dual-band GaN power amplifiers
Qorvo Inc of Greensboro, NC, USA (which provides core technologies and RF solutions for mobile, infrastructure and defense applications) is now shipping what it claims is the first commercially available family of electronically reconfigurable dual-band (S- and X-band) gallium nitride (GaN) power amplifiers (PAs). The patented PAs support what is said to be a revolutionary shift in radar architecture for defense, weather and commercial avionics.
As the first commercially available GaN PAs that can be rapidly reconfigured for operation between the S-band (3.1-3.5GHz) and X-band (9-11GHz), the QPA0007 and QPA0004 enable a single radar platform to be used across multiple applications, offering precise long-range and short-range capabilities. This eliminates the need for independent systems, saving size, weight, power and cost (SWaP-C). Now designers can dramatically reduce the bill of materials (BOM) and footprint by as much as 50% while improving overall performance, it is reckoned. The QPA0007 and QPA0004 are available in small QFN surface-mount technology (SMT) packages measuring 7mm x 6mm and 7mm x 4mm, respectively. Compared with traditional switched dual-band solutions, offer higher saturated power (PSAT = 32W S-band and 28W X-band for the QPA0007 and 9W S-band and 8W X-band for the QPA0004) and power-added efficiency (PAE = 47% S-band and 32% X-band for the QPA0007 and 51% S-band and 34% X-band for the QPA0004). Power gain is 21dB (S-band) and 18.5dB (X-band) for the QPA0007 and 21dB (S-band) and 19dB (X-band) for the QPA0004.
“This new family of products streamlines next-generation radar designs,” says Roger Hall, general manager of Qorvo’s High Performance Systems (HPS).
“The defense industry is evolving toward a ‘more with less’ strategy, and this places a premium on system performance and flexibility,” notes Eric Higham, Advanced Semiconductor Applications/Advanced Defense Systems service director at market research firm Strategy Analytics. “The capabilities and performance advantages of GaN technology make it attractive in all defense applications, particularly radar. Qorvo’s long heritage and leadership in GaN technology and defense applications allow them to develop innovative products like these that will support and enable emerging dual-band radar solutions,” he comments.
The QPA0007 and QPA0004 are sampling now to qualified customers.