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4 June 2013

Cree ships 2 millionth GaN HEMT device for telecom infrastructure

Cree Inc of Durham, NC, USA says it has now surpassed the milestone of shipping more than 2 million gallium nitride (GaN) high-electron-mobility transistors (HEMTs) for cellular telecommunications, providing benefits over traditional silicon-based technologies including higher power, higher efficiency and wider bandwidth.

As mobile devices such as smartphones are becoming more widespread, telecom companies are looking for innovative technologies to improve channel capacity and the speed of wireless systems, while simultaneously lowering power consumption of transmission amplifiers. The use of GaN HEMT in transmitter amplifiers is gaining attention in the cellular telecoms industry, says Cree, due to the ability to decrease power consumption and size, and increase bandwidth capabilities.

The world’s mobile networks are reported to consume about 120TWh of electricity per year (for an average cost of $14.4bn), and 50% of the networks power is consumed by power amplifiers and associated components. Consequently, improved power amplifier efficiency can result in considerable energy savings. 

“GaN HEMT prices have greatly improved and are now a viable alternative to Si LDMOS transistors for cellular telecom amplifiers,” says Tom Dekker, director sales and marketing, Cree RF business unit. “We target continued growth of our telecommunication volumes.”

Cree says that the performance enabled by its GaN HEMT are required to support existing 4G LTE cellular networks, as well as to help drive LTE release 10 and advanced LTE networks currently being developed. The superior efficiency and bandwidth advantages of GaN HEMTs help LTE cellular network transmitters to achieve smaller size, lower weight and improved thermal management compared with incumbent technologies, says the firm. GaN HEMT power amplifiers allow for data channel bandwidths over 100MHz and wide instantaneous RF bandwidths, helping operators to aggregate multiple, non-adjacent frequencies to maximize the benefits of their licensed spectrum, says Cree. Another advantage is improved transmitter efficiency, which offers energy savings for operating budgets, adds the firm.

Cree is exhibiting in booth 2321 at the 2013 IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS) in Seattle, WA, USA (4-6 June).

Tags: Cree GaN RF


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