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Will Today’s Microwave Oven Soon be a Thing of the Past?

July 5, 2017
Solid-state RF energy has the potential to drastically change the way we cook food.

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Odds are you currently have a microwave oven in your home. As you probably already know, those ovens, which can be found everywhere today, are based on magnetron technology. And while they have served households relatively well for many years, magnetron-based microwave ovens may likely disappear in the not-too-distant future. The reason why is solid-state RF energy.

Because the magnetron-based microwave oven has been used for so long and is so prevalent, it may be difficult to believe that it could simply go away. However, solid-state RF energy does offer several clear benefits that cannot be ignored. For one, it allows food to be cooked more precisely in comparison with the traditional magnetron ovens. Much healthier food can be cooked, too—surely an important aspect these days. In general, when you think of microwaveable food, “health” food is not exactly what comes to mind. But solid-state RF energy could revise our definition of the microwaved meal.

The RF Energy Alliance (RFEA) is a non-profit association that is determined to unlock the potential of solid-state RF energy (see "Inside Track with Klaus Werner, Executive Director, RF Energy Alliance"). The RFEA believes that it offers a numbers of benefits, and could in turn have a major impact on a wide range of applications.

MACOM, one company at the forefront of RF energy, recently introduced its RF energy toolkit. This toolkit, demonstrated at IMS 2017, is intended for a number of applications, with cooking being one of them.  The kit leverages MACOM’s gallium-nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) technology.

While magnetron-based microwave ovens have been a staple in homes for many years, RF solid-state technology could rewrite that script, ushering in a dramatically new approach to cooking food. Perhaps it won’t be too long before you head to the mall in search of your new wish list item: a cooking appliance based on solid-state RF energy.

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