News Article

Nitronex’s GaN Transistor Raises The Robustness Bar

The firm's latest rugged gallium nitride RF transistor, the XPT1015, has been designed to work in severe operating environments

Nitronex, a designer and manufacturer of GaN based RF products, has developed a rugged transistor technology capable of surviving the industry’s most severe robustness tests without significant device degradation. The XPT1015, based on this new rugged technology, is a 28V, DC-3.0GHz, 40W power transistor with 17.5dB small signal gain and 65% peak drain efficiency at 2GHz. The thermal resistance of the XPT1015 is 1.9°C/W and is amongst the lowest in the industry in this power class. XPT1015 module Nitronex says  the XPT1015 leverages its existing 28V NRF1 process platform which has been used to ship more than 650,000 production devices. This includes more than 50,000 MMICs, since volume shipments began in 2009. One hundred XPT1015 devices from four wafers were subjected to a 15:1 VSWR at all phase angles at a 90°C base plate temperature. During VSWR testing, all devices were operated in a saturated average power condition, being driven by a 4000 carrier 200MHz wideband signal with a 19.5dB peak-to-average ratio. These devices all survived and had only about a 0.2dB average change in saturated output power. Ray Crampton, VP of Engineering, says, “Historically there have been markets which Nitronex could not address because our products did not meet their stringent robustness requirements. We made reliability, robustness, and ruggedness a priority over the last several quarters. Our new XPT1015 is our first 28V product explicitly designed for severe operating environments.  In addition, our recently announced 48V platform was also designed from the ground up to meet very severe environmental requirements." “We are excited to have expanded our addressable markets and applications by offering this new rugged technology capability." Nitronex says its patented SIGANTIC GaN-on-Silicon process is the only production qualified GaN process using an industry standard 4" silicon substrate. This results in a robust, scalable supply chain and positions Nitronex well for the growth expected from emerging GaN markets such as military communications, CATV, RADAR, commercial wireless, satellite communications and point to point microwave. Nitronex is currently providing prototypes to select customers and the XPT1015 is expected to be commercially available  later this year.

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