Record efficiency achieved in GaN high-frequency transistors: Page 2 of 2

March 25, 2020 //By Christoph Hammerschmidt
Record efficiency achieved in GaN high-frequency transistors
Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics IAF have succeeded in significantly increasing the output power of their GaN-based transistors for the frequency range of 1 - 2 GHz. This makes it possible to develop highly efficient amplifiers with higher output power, as required for applications in the fields of plasma generation, industrial heating, and communication and radar technologies.

The long-term goal of the development is to operate at up to 10 GHz. This would make the Freiburg, Germany based Fraunhofer Institute the first source of such 100 V components based on GaN. This is of particular interest for high-performance applications such as mobile radio base station amplifiers, pulse and continuous wave radar particle accelerators, industrial microwave heaters and amplifiers for plasma generators. Usually, such systems require a lot of power while at the same time the volume requirements of the components are low - exactly what 100 V technology is supposed to enable.

Power generators for microwave heating are a large industrial application. "In the field of plasma generation, industry usually works with higher frequencies, but many users still use vacuum components such as magnetrons or klystrons. Here we are working on providing an alternative based on semiconductors, since semiconductors are much more compact and lighter and can be used to realize arrangements such as phased arrays, for example," says Krause.

For a long time, tube-based components (e.g. traveling wave tubes) have dominated electronic systems with high power requirements. In the meantime, however, development is moving towards power semiconductors. Fraunhofer IAF scientists see 100 Volt technology based on GaN as an efficient alternative for increasing the power of microwave generators.

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