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Cree's 50V GaN HEMTs Boost Cellular Networks

The firm's gallium nitride power devices reduce operational and capital expenses and could help reduce global energy consumption
Cree is introducing a range of new 50V GaN HEMT devices which enable a significant reduction in the energy needed to power cellular networks.


The world’s cellular network is estimated to consume more than 100TWh of electricity per year. This is approximately equivalent to a value of $12 billion. Fifty to eighty percent of the networks’ power is consumed by the systems’ power amplifiers and feed infrastructure.


Cree's radio base station power amplifiers have demonstrated performance improvements of more than 20 percent over incumbent technology at 2.6 GHz operating under the latest 4G LTE signals. This increased power amplifier efficiency could save an estimated 10 TWh per year, the equivalent power output of two nuclear power plants.


While operational cost savings from increased efficiency can be significant, additional substantial savings are also possible in the acquisition cost of the system. A higher efficiency power amplifier can help OEMs save capital equipment costs through simplified cooling, and the higher voltage GaN components can lower the cost of AC-to-DC and DC-to-DC converters. Overall, the impact on the total bill of materials can be as much as 10 percent, leading to significantly lower system costs.


“We believe our 50V GaN HEMT products can have a large impact in not only helping cellular network operators and OEMs reduce operational and capital expenses but also in helping to reduce global energy consumption," explains Jim Milligan, business director, Cree RF.


“Several tier one telecom OEMs have already incorporated lower voltage versions of our technology to begin realizing these benefits. To date, even at an early stage of deployment, we estimate as much as 2,400 MWh of energy has already been saved as a result. This is an equivalent carbon offset of 1,400 metric tons of CO2 and represents the offset created by planting approximately 36,000 trees," he adds.


Cree’s 50V GaN HEMT transistors operating at 100W or 200W output powers are now released for both the 1.8 - 2.2 GHz and 2.5 - 2.7 GHz frequency bands. The devices are internally matched for optimum performance, enabling wide instantaneous bandwidths.


The 50V GaN HEMT transistors are ideal for use in high efficiency Doherty power amplifiers where power gains higher than 18dB at 2.14 GHz and 16 dB at 2.6 GHz can be achieved respectively.


The new Cree 50V GaN HEMT transistors are available in sample quantities now, with production quantities scheduled to be available in November, 2012.





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