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Freescale breaks into GaN power RF market

Suitable for cellular infrastructure applications, the RF power innovator adds the efficiency, performance and bandwidth advantages of gallium nitride technology to its portfolio

Freescale Semiconductor has revealed its first RF power amplifier product built using GaN technology.

The company's RF power GaN products will initially target the cellular infrastructure market, with potential future applications including avionics, radar, ISM and software-defined radio.

AFG25HW355S schematic

Freescale's first GaN product, the AFG25HW355S device, is the latest addition to its power amplifier portfolio. Current Freescale RF power offerings include 12V, 28V and 50V silicon LDMOS products, 5V GaAs HBT, 5V and 12V GaAs pHEMT solutions, and high-frequency SiGe technology featuring operation up to 100 GHz and beyond.

"Freescale's GaN RF power solutions underscore our technology-agnostic approach to the RF power market," says Ritu Favre, vice president and general manager of Freescale's RF Division. "Working with GaN in development since the mid-2000s, we have established an ideal blend of cost-efficiency, performance and reliability, and the time is now right to add GaN-based products to our broad array of RF power amplifier solutions."

The AFG25HW355S is a 350W, high-performance-in-package, 2:1 asymmetric device operating between 2.3 GHz and 2.7 GHz. With 56 dBm peak power and 50 percent efficiency, the device has a gain of 16 dB and comes in NI-780 packaging.

Advantages of using GaN technology in power amplifiers include smaller product form factors, low parasitic loss, elevated power density and higher-frequency operation. Potential GaN cellular applications include quasi-linear, high efficiency (Doherty), high-powered pulsed (non-linear) applications, broadband PAs and switch-mode amplifier configurations.

The AFG25HW355S will be available soon to select customers in sample quantities, with full qualification and volume shipping planned by Q2 2013.
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