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TriQuint’s GaN RF MMIC switches reach 18 GHz

The firm’s compact gallium nitride on silicon carbide switches handle up to 40 W CW and the firm says they set new standards in solid-state performance for use in defence and aerospace applications.

TriQuint Semiconductor has introduced a family of reflective MMIC RF and microwave SPDT switches that combine the higher power-handling ability of GaN with high speed, low insertion loss, high isolation and broad frequency coverage of DC to 6, 12, or 18 GHz.

The GaN switches allow designers of defence, aerospace, or high-performance commercial systems to use a tiny semiconductor device in many applications where the only alternative previously was to utilise larger, heavier electromechanical devices.

TriQuint’s new GaN devices, claimed to be the first solid-state products to handle this much power, were announced in conjunction with the European Microwave Week exhibition (Manchester, UK), October 11-13 at stand #323.

The RF innovator’s GaN switch family includes: TGS2351-SM packaged in a 4x4-mm, 24-lead, air-cavity ceramic package, and three die-level switches, the TGS-2351 (DC to 6 GHz, 40 W CW), the TGS2352 (DC to 12 GHz, 20 W CW) and the TGS2353 (DC to 18 GHz, 10 W CW).

The TGS2351-SM’s air-cavity ceramic package utilises proprietary techniques to offer enhanced protection for the GaN die while also effectively dissipating more heat in a way not achievable with fully-encapsulated plastic packaging form factors. Packaged versions of the 12 GHz and 18 GHz die-level devices are in development.

GaN has a unique power-handling advantage over GaAs FETs and PIN diodes when employed in switches - GaAs FETs, although solid-state, can handle only a few watts of power, whereas PIN diodes can handle higher power, but typically consume more DC energy.

In contrast, TriQuint’s HEMT GaN-on-SiC process enables its MMIC switches to handle up to two and a half times more on-state power and eight times more off-state power than a GaAs FET switch fabricated in a typical 0.25 µm GaAs process. They do so while consuming minimal current, remaining highly stable over temperature, and delivering performance comparable to or better than that of GaAs FETs or diodes. GaN switches are orders or magnitude smaller than some electro-mechanical switches.

“TriQuint innovation and GaN product development has led to another break-through device that offers performance advantages in size, weight and power that should be of particular interest to defence and aerospace designers,” said Grant Wilcox, GaN Product Manager. “GaN switches have the potential to shrink the size of the host product and lower its power consumption with performance not previously offered by a solid-state switch solution.”

Technical Details:

TGS2351-SM             DC to 6 GHz, 40 W CW, 35 ns switching speed, 1dB noise figure, 40dB isolation, less        than 1 dB insertion loss, 4x4-mm, 24-lead, air-cavity ceramic QFN package.

TGS2351                     DC to 6 GHz, 40 W CW, 25 ns switching speed, 0.8dB noise figure, 35dB isolation, less than 1dB insertion loss, die-level device

TGS2352                     DC to 12 GHz, 20 W CW, 25 ns switching speed, 1dB noise figure, 35dB isolation, less than 1dB insertion loss, die-level device

TGS2353                     DC to 18 GHz, 10 W CW, 25 ns switching speed, 1.5dB noise figure, 30dB isolation, less than 1.5dB insertion loss, die-level device


TriQuint’s new GaN switches are in production and samples are available now.
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