GaN RF power transistors deliver 320W for basestation PAs, in plastic packages

GaN RF power transistors deliver 320W for basestation PAs, in plastic packages

New Products |
By Graham Prophet

In MACOM Technology Solutions’ MAGb series of GaN on Silicon power transistors designed for use in macro wireless basestations, and based on MACOM’s Gen4 GaN technology, the MAGb-101822-240B0P and MAGb-101822-120B0P power transistors are plastic TO-272-packaged. They provide 320 W and 160 W output peak power, respectively, in the load-pull system with fundamental tuning only, and cover all cellular bands and power levels within the 1.8 – 2.2 GHz frequency range. These transistors’ ability to operate over 400 MHz of bandwidth removes the need to use multiple LDMOS-based products, further optimizing cost and design efficiencies.


Plastic-packaged MAGb power transistors deliver power efficiency up to 79% – an improvement of up to 10% compared to LDMOS offerings – with only fundamental tuning across the 400 MHz RF bandwidth, and with linear gain of up to 20 dB. This, MACOM asserts, is a compelling alternative to ceramic-packaged devices without compromising RF performance or reliability – thermal behaviour is improved by 10% compared to ceramic-packaged MAGb offerings.


These power transistors enable the implementation of a simple symmetric Doherty amplifier design while maintaining excellent RF performance compared to lesser performing and complex asymmetric Doherty topologies imposed by LDMOS-based transistors. With MACOM’s MAGb series transistors, Doherty amplifier implementations show the same level of DPD friendliness as LDMOS-based solutions.


“DPD is critical to increase the efficiency of power amplifiers for 4G and 5G basestation applications and has a significant impact on network operators’ operating expenses and capital expenditures,” said Dr. Chris Dick, Chief DSP Architect at Xilinx. Xilinx has shown a demonstration in which its programmable devices carry out the signal processing for the DPD (digital pre-distortion) path, “[showcasing] the combined DPD capabilities of MACOM’s Gen4 GaN-based MAGb power transistors and Xilinx’s complementary DPD technologies on our 28 nm Zynq SoC and 16 nm UltraScale+ MPSoCs. This joint solution highlights the time-to-market advantages that can be achieved with a proven, interoperable DPD solution.”


“Our collaboration with Xilinx demonstrates the linearity and ease of correction of our MAGb, especially with signals that are known to be challenging to correct using GaN-based solutions like multi-carrier GSM and TDD-LTE signals,” said Preet Virk, Senior Vice President and General Manager, Carrier Networks, at MACOM. “We believe that with the introduction of our new plastic-packaged MAGb power transistors, we’re further extending this price/performance advantage over competing LDMOS and other GaN technologies, and accelerating the evolution to GaN-based PAs for wireless basestations.”







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