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RFMD Set To Unveil GaN HEMT Technology

Leading GaAs manufacturer RF Micro Devices says that it will conduct a live demonstration of its new high-power GaN transistors at next week's International Microwave Symposium.

RF Micro Devices is set to take the wraps off of its GaN transistor technology at the IEEE's MTT-S International Microwave Symposium event being held in San Francisco next week.

The Greensboro, NC, company, which is best known for its GaAs-based RF components that are widely used in cellphones, will conduct a live demonstration of GaN HEMT power transistors that it has been developing.

The demo will feature transistors deployed in a digital pre-distortion system for 3G cellular base station applications. Using the wide-bandgap semiconductor material improves drain efficiency performance and power output, while it also simplifies system cooling requirements.

Although cellular applications will be the main focus of RFMD's demonstration, the company will also reveal details of the latest performance results for WiMAX.

At a recent investor conference, RFMD's CEO Bob Bruggeworth also flagged up recent developments the company has made with its GaN technology. He said that some early-stage GaN-based transistors are already shipping, while RFMD is aiming to prove the reliability of the new products by the end of the calendar year.

After completing this reliability testing, RFMD is expecting to agree its first design-ins with customers.

Despite the technological advantages offered by GaN, the material is yet to gain a strong foothold in the RF electronics market. However, recent product developments at Nitronex, Cree and Eudyna Devices "“ as well as RFMD - may change that scenario before long (see related stories).

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