GaN Amplifier Reaches 50 W Output at 18 GHz

July 3, 2014
Based on gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology, the amplifier provides typical gain of more than 47 dB across its frequency range and works under Class AB linear conditions.

For applications that require healthy signal levels through 18 GHz, model BME69189-50 is a compact broadband power amplifier from COMTECH PST capable of as much as 50 W continuous output power from 6 to 18 GHz. Based on gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology, the amplifier provides typical gain of more than 47 dB across its frequency range and works under Class AB linear conditions.

This miniature GaN power amplifier requires only +10 dBm input power to achieve overdrive output-power levels. It maintains gain flatness within ±4 dB at 40 W output power across the frequency range. Input and output VSWR remain at 2.0:1 or less under all operating conditions. The amplifier minimizes unwanted signal additions, with second harmonics of typically less than -15 dBc and third harmonics of typically less than -25 dBc. Spurious signal levels are less than -60 dBc. The rugged little amplifier is tested to maintain its stability under open/short conditions.

The high power density of this miniature amplifier module can be credited on the GaN technology, which is growing in popularity for its high output levels at RF/microwave frequencies. The model BME69189-50 amplifier is well suited for a wide range of applications, including communications, electronic-warfare, and radar systems—essentially, for designs where high output levels are required from a unit with small size and limited cooling capabilities within the system.

The GaN amplifier measures just 6.56 × 3.50 × 0.84 in. and has an operating temperature range of -4 to +55° C. It weighs 1.5 lbs. with a 7-pin Combo D DC/control interface and field replaceable SMA female input and output connectors, and is constructed to MIL-STD-810F requirements for shock and vibration. It operates from +28 VDC DC input voltage and consumes less than 15 W in standby mode, using a 5-V TTL enable/disable control.

COMTECH PST, 105 Baylis Rd., Melville, NY 11747; (631) 777-8900; fax: (631) 777-8877;

About the Author

Jack Browne | Technical Contributor

Jack Browne, Technical Contributor, has worked in technical publishing for over 30 years. He managed the content and production of three technical journals while at the American Institute of Physics, including Medical Physics and the Journal of Vacuum Science & Technology. He has been a Publisher and Editor for Penton Media, started the firm’s Wireless Symposium & Exhibition trade show in 1993, and currently serves as Technical Contributor for that company's Microwaves & RF magazine. Browne, who holds a BS in Mathematics from City College of New York and BA degrees in English and Philosophy from Fordham University, is a member of the IEEE.

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