Microsemi expands S-band RF power transistor family to embrace high-performance GaN-on-SiC devices

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By eeNews Europe

Charlie Leader, Microsemi’s vice president and general manager, said: "By expanding our power transistor offering beyond traditional silicon material to use the latest compound semiconductor technologies, we take performance to the next level, create new markets for our products, and demonstrate our continuing commitment to customers in the radar systems development business."     

Microsemi has applied its industry-leading expertise in S-band RF power transistors to create a family of GaN-on-SiC solutions that are tailored to support the requirements of next-generation systems requiring higher power, better efficiency, and wider bandwidth than is possible using conventional silicon or SiC process technologies. For applications operating in frequency bands up to 20 GHz, the wide bandgap material properties of GaN-on-SiC technology enable smaller systems with improved voltage, gain, broadband performance, drain efficiency, and long-term reliability.     

The GaN-on-SiC power transistors complement the company’s family of Silicon BJT, RF MOSFET (VDMOS) and RF NPN power transistors, including SiC SIT devices that provide superior performance in high-power UHF Band pulsed radar applications operating at frequencies up to 450 MHz. Microsemi also uses GaN technology for a family of Enhancement Mode GaN field-effect transistors (FETs) used in satellites and other military power conversion, point-of-load, and high speed switching applications.     

The GaN-on-SiC devices feature drain breakdown voltage well above 350 V, enabling them to operate with a drain bias of 60 V while delivering significantly higher reliability than devices manufactured using laterally diffused metal oxide semiconductor (LDMOS) technology.  The higher drain bias improves peak power output while yielding more user-friendly impedance levels and simplified circuit-matching requirements across the full system bandwidth. The GaN-on-SiC devices also deliver more than 13 dB of power gain and cover 400 MHz of bandwidth.     

These latest power transistors also reduce system size. As an example, the company’s 2729GN-270 transistor replaces a conventional three-stage Si BJT transistor amplifier consisting of a driver transistor plus one output pallet with two 150 W transistors. This substantially reduces system size and complexity while improving system power and efficiency.     

Microsemi has released two products for each of three frequency bands:     

2.7 to 2.9GHz Band for air traffic control applications (pulse format: 100 µs, 10 percent; power gain: 13 to 14dB typical; efficiency of 55 to 60 percent) 

  • 2729GN-270 – 280 W power (typical)  
  • 2729GN-150 – 160 W power (typical)  

2.7 to 3.1GHz Band for air traffic control applications (pulse format:  200 µs, 10%; power gain: 12 to 13 dB typical; efficiency of 50 to 55 percent) 

  • 2731GN-200 – 220 W power (typical)  
  • 2731GN-110 – 120 W power (typical)  

3.1 to 3.5GHz Band for airborne tracking applications (pulse format: 300 µs, 10%; power gain: 11 to 12 dB typical; efficiency of 45 to 50 percent) 

  • 3135GN-170 – 180 W power (typical)  
  • 3135GN-100 – 115 W power (typical  

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