NXP Brings GaN-on-SiC Technology To The Masses
NXP to offer both LDMOS and gallium nitride solutions for high-efficiency RF Power applications.
At IMS2011 this week, NXP Semiconductors is showcasing a live demo of its next-generation products based on GaN-on-SiC technology.
The GaN demo includes a 50-W wideband amplifier, the CLF1G0530-50, covering 500 to 3000 MHz; 2.1-GHz and 2.7-GHz Doherty power amplifiers for base stations; and a 100-W amplifier, the CLF1G2535-100, covering 2.5 - 3.5 GHz.
NXP has developed its high-frequency, high-power GaN process technology in collaboration with United Monolithic Semiconductors and the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Solid State Physics. The firm is now positioned as one of the largest semiconductor company to offer both LDMOS and GaN solutions.
NXP’s GaN devices are manufactured on SiC substrates for enhanced RF and thermal performance. Target end-user applications include cellular communications, wideband amplifiers, ISM, PMR, radar, avionics, RF lighting, medical, CATV and digital transmitters for cellular and broadcast.
With its high power densities, GaN has the potential to expand into applications such as high power broadcast applications, where solid-state power amplifiers (PAs) built with vacuum tubes are still the norm. While most base station PAs today are limited to specific applications, this new GaN process technology supports a roadmap towards a “universal transmitter" that can be applied in multiple systems and frequencies, simplifying transmitter production and logistics, and allowing operators to switch between frequency bands to instantly meet demands in a base station’s coverage area.
“As GaN continues to gain traction, the entry of major semiconductor companies such as NXP helps to validate GaN as a ‘technology of choice’ for RF power semiconductors, and will help to accelerate broader adoption," said ABI Research director Lance Wilson.
“We were overwhelmed by the extraordinarily positive response to our GaN roadmap presentation at CS Europe earlier this year, from customers and partners, as well as other semiconductor companies – in large part due to the economies of scale we’re able to bring to the equation. As we release new products based on GaN, we’ll also be working with our partners to build a European supply chain that optimizes costs at every step in the value chain, and continue to offer our customers choice when it comes to selecting the best alternatives – LDMOS or GaN – for high-efficiency applications," commented John Croteau, senior vice president and general manager, high performance RF, NXP Semiconductors.
Engineering samples of NXP’s first GaN PAs are available immediately and are expected to be available for volume production at the end of 2011.