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1 July 2013

RF-Lambda selects TriQuint GaN for new line of high-power amplifiers

RF front-end component maker and foundry services provider TriQuint Semiconductor Inc of Hillsboro, OR, USA says that RF-Lambda of San Diego, CA, USA, which makes and distributes RF components for analog wireless networks in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific, has developed a new line of high power amplifiers based on TriQuint’s gallium nitride (GaN) power transistors. RF-Lambda’s new products are currently being qualified in commercial 4G systems, a defense flight system, and other defense/aerospace projects.

Reducing part counts and maintaining performance was central to RF-Lambda’s decision. “We formerly supplied a key customer with two separate GaAs amplifiers to cover two bands. By using TriQuint GaN, we were able to replace those with a single GaN high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) and cover the full frequency range,” says R&D director Michael Liu. “This increased design flexibility while decreasing production variation,” he adds. “Our customers also benefit by using software to switch bands rather than physically changing hardware, while still achieving necessary power.” 

TriQuint says that its new GaN HEMT devices offer optimized power and efficiency at high drain voltage operating conditions. RF-Lambda chose the T2G6001528-Q3, which offers typical power-added efficiency (PAE) of greater than 50% at 15dB gain; its performance can reduce the number of transistors in a design, which also benefits heat management. These advantages can lower part counts, reduce board space and lower overall system costs, notes TriQuint. The T2G6001528-Q3 is offered in a low-thermal-resistance, flangeless 4mm x 5mm package. Samples and evaluation boards are available.

RF-Lambda is also developing other new power amplifiers based on TriQuint GaN transistors, including a 1-18GHz, 50W device and 20W/40W solutions for 0.1-6GHz as well as the RFLUPA0706GE (0.7-6GHz) 7W amplifier.

“TriQuint GaN products offer important size, weight and power advantages that the defense industry was fast to appreciate,” says James L. Klein, TriQuint VP & general manager for Infrastructure and Defense Products. “We now see more commercial applications using GaN thanks to its advantages, and we look forward to supporting RF-Lambda’s new programs,” he adds.

“While defense supported GaN in many applications, communication infrastructure utilization is growing fast,” comments market research firm Strategy Analytics, which foresees significant growth for GaN. “Sat-com, power and other infrastructure markets are ramping to higher revenues. Strategy Analytics forecasts that the market for GaN microelectronic devices will grow with a compound average annual growth (CAGR) rate of over 34% to approximately $186m by 2015,” says Eric Higham, director of Semiconductor Practice at Strategy Analytics.

Tags: TriQuint



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