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Toshiba commercializes its first GaN HEMT

The Japanese hi-tech group further demonstrates the maturity of its GaN expertise, promising an era of higher-power X-band amplifiers.

Toshiba is adding its first GaN HEMT product to its commercially-available microwave amplifier range.

Supplied by the Toshiba America Electronic Components (TAEC) arm of the Japanese business, the TGI8596-50 operates in the X-band of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Irvine, California based TAEC is targeting radar systems and medical tools, including devices for the treatment of cancer, as the main end applications for its new amplifier.

The firm also hopes to extend its GaN HEMT offering to the C- and Ku-bands for satellite communication applications.

“GaN HEMT amplifiers have the potential to achieve significantly higher gain and output power than GaAs FETs at comparable frequency and input power,” explained Homayoun Ghani, business development manager for microwave, logic and small signal devices at TAEC.

The TGI8596-50 s output signal falls in the 8.5 to 9.6 GHz range of the X-band, offering a power output of 50 W and a typical gain of 9.0 dB.

The device is being showcased at the IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium in Hawaii this week, alongside Toshiba's conventional GaAs microwave amplifiers.

TAEC has high hopes for its GaN microwave amplifiers, claiming that the 174 W power output X-band GaN FET demonstrated last year (see related stories) shows the potential of these devices, despite a product with this high power not yet being commercially available.

• Toshiba has also recently announced a collaboration with Nortel to develop WiMAX base stations, an application area also suited to GaN amplifiers.

The collaboration will be making use of Toshiba's miniaturization and high-frequency amplifier technology.

Shunichi Kimuchi, who is heading up the project for Toshiba, said, “There are many countries around the world that would benefit from the implementation of WiMAX technology and this co-operative effort will make a significant contribution to these markets quickly and cost-effectively.”

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