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High Power Leaves its Mark on IMS

June 22, 2018
IMS 2018 showcased the latest in high-power RF capability, with multiple companies demonstrating an array of performance breakthroughs.

One of the main themes sweeping through IMS 2018 centered around the eye-opening innovations in the high-power arena. Among the companies showcasing this capability was Wolfspeed, which displayed its GTVA101K42EV 1400-W GaN-on-silicon-carbide (GaN-on-SiC) high-electron-mobility-transistor (HEMT). This 50-V device covers a frequency range of 960 to 1,215 MHz and achieves about 17 dB of gain. Visitors to Wolfspeed’s booth were able to see the GTVA101K42EV in action (Fig. 1).

1. The GTVA101K42EV 1400-W GaN-on-silicon-carbide (GaN-on-SiC) high-electron-mobility-transistor (HEMT) operates from 960 to 1,215 MHz.

Wolfspeed also demonstrated its CMPA5259050F GaN monolithic-microwave-integrated-circuit (MMIC) power amplifier (PA) (Fig. 2). This 50-W PA operates from 5.2 to 5.9 GHz, and is intended for C-band radar applications.

2. Wolfspeed gave visitors a chance to see the CMPA5259050F up close at the IMS 2018 exhibition.

Microsemi revealed its capabilities in the realm of high-power RF with the 1011GN-2200VP, which is a 2,200-W GaN pallet (Fig. 3). A live demonstration on the IMS show floor proved that the 1011GN-2200VP can indeed deliver 2,200 W of output power (Fig. 4).

3. The 1011GN-2200VP is a 2,200-W GaN pallet developed by Microsemi.

4. A demonstration proved the performance of the 1011GN-2200VP, as the measured output power exceeded 2,200 W.

Not to be outdone, Ampleon put the spotlight on its high-power products, particularly the BLF989 RF power transistor that’s designed for UHF broadcast applications. Figure 5 (taken from the IMS show floor) shows two BLF989 power transistors in a Doherty configuration. The BLF989 covers a frequency range of 400 to 860 MHz. It can deliver 140 W of average power (700 W peak) while achieving a typical efficiency of 34%.

5. This photo shows two BLF989 RF power transistors in a Doherty configuration.

Other high-power products showcased by Ampleon include the BLA9H0912L(S)-1200P and BLCF9G4650(S)-20 devices based on laterally-diffused metal-oxide-semiconductor (LDMOS) technology (Fig. 6). The BLCF9G4650(S)-20 offers what the company describes as “breakthrough” performance, as it operates at frequencies as high as 5 GHz. Ampleon boasts that it offers 3 dB higher gain than GaN transistors.

6. The BLA9H0912L(S)-1200P and the BLCF9G4650(S)-20 devices are both based on laterally-diffused metal-oxide-semiconductor (LDMOS) technology.

With its new brand identity and a variety of GaN-on-SiC RF power device solutions, Integra Technologies used IMS 2018 to formally launch and display its latest GaN-on-SiC integrated RF power modules (Fig. 7). The company is differentiating its products from standard integrated printed-circuit-board (PCB) amplifier assemblies, or pallets, noting that these new RF power modules were developed to “offer a new level of advanced integration that results in powerful—yet simple—higher-level building blocks for creating SWaP-C optimized high-power amplifiers (HPAs) found in pulsed and CW radar systems.”

7. Another player in the high-power RF arena is Integra Technologies, which showcased its latest GaN-on-SiC RF power products.

Built-in functions can include RF matching, gate-pulsing and sequencing (GPS), output noise suppression, temperature compensation, and VSWR protection. Integra’s RF power modules come in a variety of RF bands. Standard RF power modules currently offer output power as high as 2,400 W along with efficiencies as high as 70%. Custom design and packaging approaches are also available. In addition, future GaN-on-SiC RF power solutions will extend into higher-frequency microwave territories.

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