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GaN Amplifiers

Gallium Nitride Wide Band-Gap HEMT

Empower RF has broad experience delivering high power GaN amplifiers into mission critical applications and was a very early adopter of GaN on SiC.. Although Empower has many product lines encompassing state-of-the-art Bipolar, MOSFET, LDMOS and GaAs FET devices, GaN has become the marquee technology for TWT replacement and other applications where improvement of SWaP is desired.

Why GaN Transistors?

The key characteristics that makes Gallium Nitride an enabling technology is its significantly higher power density and greater reliability. GaN's increased power density (W/mm) has enabled Empower to reduce power amplifier sizes, minimize cooling and heat-sink demands and package more power per given volume. With the increased efficiencies that GaN provides, Empower RF delivers more reliable, smaller and lighter broadband power amplifiers.

GaN -more specifically GaN on SiC -provides higher output power, longer pulse widths, and larger duty cycles and significantly higher MTTF than GaN on Si, GaAS HEMT, LDMOS, and MOSFET high power transistors.

  • Higher Breakdown voltages 60 to 80 VBRDSS (100-150 Volts)
  • Higher Power Density
  • Superior Thermal Conductivity
  • Example: LDMOS - 12W/sq. mm dissipation vs. GaN - 70W/sq. mm dissipation
  • Higher Junction Temperatures > 200°C (+225°C to 250°C)
  • Higher Saturated Electron Drift Velocity (higher current delivering capability)
  • Lower Intrinsic Capacitance which provides higher input/output device impedances allowing broadband matching
  • GaN provides High Gain and Efficiencies (Narrow band 50% to 60%)
  • Superior Noise & Linear Power Added Efficiency (PAE)
DEVICE TECHNOLOGY FREQUENCY COVERAGE PERFORMANCE ADVANTAGES TRADE-OFFS
GaN
(Gallium Nitride HEMT)
High Electron Mobility Transistor
20-6000 MHz broadband
8-12 GHz narrowband
12-18 GHz narrowband
18-40 GHz narrowband
Up to 100 GHz Future
Broadband Matching
Ultra broadband operation
Efficiency
Linearity
Ruggedness
High Power Density
Thermal Resistance RӨjc is High Cost
Low P1dB compression point
Need Negative Bias Voltage
Turn On/Off sequence
LDMOS
(Lateral Diffused Metal Oxide Semiconductor FET)
20-1000 MHz broadband
1000-3000 MHz narrowband
3400-3800 MHz narrowband
Dynamic Range
Efficiency
Linearity
Gain Simple Device
Biasing Cost
Failure to Fast Pulse
Fall Times
Low input/output impedance
Difficult to broadband match
Failure to high power peaks
Cautious under load VSWR
MOSFET VMOS, DMOS
(Metal Oxide Semiconductor FET)
20-100 MHz
100-500 MHz
500-1000 MHz
Dynamic Range
Simple Device Biasing
Ruggedness
Fast Digital waveforms
Handles peak power levels
Ultra Broadband
Matching Upper Frequency Limit
Linearity Efficiency Gain
GaAsFET
(Gallium Arsenide MESFET)
Metal Semiconductor FET
500-3000 MHz broadband
2000-4000 broadband 2-6 GHz narrowband
6-12 GHz narrowband
12-18 GHz narrowband
18-40 GHz narrowband
Linearity
Ruggedness
Fast Digital waveforms
Handles peak power levels
Efficiency
Low Gain Cost Availability
Need Negative Bias Voltage
Turn On/Off sequence
Bipolar
(Silicon)
1-30 MHz
20-100 MHz
100-500 MHz
1200-1400 MHz
2000-3000 MHz narrowband
3000-3500 MHz narrowband
Proven Pulse Capability
Highest Power Packaged Device
Ruggedness
Fast Digital waveforms
Handles peak power levels
Efficiency Class C
Low Frequency operation
Ultra Broadband matching
Efficiency
Low Gain
Linearity
Biasing circuit

Download White Paper

Topics

  • Linearity vs Efficiency
  • Linearity Assessment Tool Comparison
  • IMD / 3rd Order Intercept
  • Noise Power Ratio
  • Crest Factor
  • Complementary Cumulative Distribution Function
  • Real World Crest Factor Assessment Example
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