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Fujitsu GaN Amplifier is Multi-Tasking

The GaN-based HEMT has the world’s highest output of 12.9W and operates in the C, X and Ku Band ranges making it ideal for mobile communication over a wide area.

Japanese firm Fujitsu’s has revealed its amplifier based on gallium-nitride (GaN) high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) technology has a 4-18Hz frequency range. This should enable the development of smaller, lighter radar equipment.

With 18% efficiency, this amplification output is more than double the output of existing ultra-broadband, high-frequency amplifiers, and is claimed to exhibit the world's highest performance.

With an output of 12.9W, the device operates in the C-band, X-band, and Ku-band radio frequency spectrums, which range from 6GHz-18GHz. The device should enhance wireless communications systems by making them capable of covering wider areas.

The technology will be presented at the IEEE MTT International Microwave Symposium (IMS 2010) being held in Anaheim, U.S. from May 23-28.

Aircraft radar typically switches between the C-band (4-8GHz), which is relatively unaffected by rain, and the X-band (8-12GHz) and Ku-band (12-18GHz) which offer high-precision detection of solid objects.

A single amplifier featuring the ability to cover the entire range of all three bands would allow for smaller systems that consume less power. This has led to keen interest in multifunctional radars, which integrate communications systems and multiple radars and into a single device.

To achieve the output needed to cover the C- to Ku-bands, multiple transistors have previously been connected in parallel to create an amplification circuit. However, as the circuit is physically longer, line loss increases, making it difficult to extend coverage up to 18GHz.

The band extension circuit used in the amplifier is claimed to compensate for line losses at high frequencies. Also the circuit on the semiconductor chip divides and combines electrical power across an ultra-wide spectrum.

The technology can also be used in measuring instruments in order to measure the performance of amplifiers used in broadband communications and radar systems.

Fujitsu Laboratories now plans to apply this technology to a wide range of applications that require high output across wide bandwidths, including wireless communications and radar.
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