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May 14th, 2010
RFMD qualifies second GaN process
RF Micro Devices Inc of Greensboro, NC, USA has expanded its portfolio of compound semiconductor technologies by announcing the qualification of its second high-power gallium nitride (GaN) process technology.
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The GaN2 high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) process technology achieves 1-2dB higher gain and 6dB greater linearity than the firm's GaN1 process at moderately lower power density. GaN1 was qualified in the June 2009 quarter and delivers much higher power density and voltage breakdown than competing technologies, the firm claims, suiting high-performance devices such as power amplifiers for radar and communications. In contrast, GaN2 targets cable TV (CATV) broadband transmission products and other multi-market applications and is optimized for higher linearity, higher gain and lower-voltage operation.

GaN2 reliability measurements confirm a useful lifetime of over 17 million hours at a channel temperature of 200 oC, despite being an early-stage process on RFMD's GaN technology development roadmap. Additional technologies in development include MMIC process modules with complimentary integrated passive component (IPC) technology.

"RFMD's high-performance GaN technology is consistently demonstrating industry-leading levels of reliability, allowing our customers to design GaN products that exceed their stringent system reliability specifications," claims Bob Van Buskirk, president of the firm's Multi-Market Products Group (MPG). "RFMD's GaN technology also enables advanced RF components and products that operate at significantly lower power consumption levels, helping to satisfy the rapidly increasing end-market requirements for energy saving 'green technologies'."

RFMD is scheduled to present white papers on GaN technology and product development at next week's Compound Semiconductor Mantech conference in Portland, OR (17-20 May) and at the IEEE MTT International Microwave Symposium in Anaheim, CA (25-27 May), including: 'GaN Applications Beyond the PA for RF Systems', 'GaN for High Power, High Bandwidth Applications', 'Defining Application Spaces for High Power GaN' and 'RFMD Takes GaN Mainstream'.


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