High-Power RF Devices Threaten to Replace TWTs

May 18, 2015
Cree offers an alternative to traveling-wave-tube (TWT) amplifiers with two new near-instant-on-capable gallium-nitride high-electron-mobility transistors (GaN HEMTs).

Long used in radar systems, high-voltage traveling-wave-tube (TWT) amplifiers tend to have limited lifetimes, and generally require a bit of time to “warm up.” Cree offers an alternative with two new near-instant-on-capable gallium-nitride high-electron-mobility transistors (GaN HEMTs)—a 350-W/50-Ω C-Band transistor and a 500-W/50-Ω S-Band device. The solid-state amps aren’t prone to the failures that hamper TWTs, which in turn extends their lifecycles. The 350-W CGHV59530, housed in a 0.7- by 0.9-in. ceramic/metal flange, operates over a 5.2- to 5.9-GHz bandwidth. Pulsed saturated power performance pushes past 400 W, and typical drain efficiency is approximately 60%. Applications include ground-based defense and Doppler weather radar systems. The CGHV31500F, targeted at air-traffic-control radar systems, offers 700 W of saturated RF pulsed power. Housed in the same flange packaging, it operates over a 2.7- to 3.1-GHz bandwidth and features 12-dB power gain. Cree will demonstrate both devices at this week’s (May 17-21) International Microwave Symposium (IMS).


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