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4 June 2014

Northrop Grumman launches high-power GaN amplifiers for Ka-band SatCom terminals

Northrop Grumman Corp of Redondo Beach, CA, USA has introduced two high-power gallium nitride (GaN) monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) power amplifiers for Ka-band satellite communication terminals and point-to-point digital communication links.

Manufactured at the firm’s wafer fabrication facility in Manhattan Beach, the APN228 and APN229 power amplifiers were developed using Northrop Grumman’s proprietary GaN high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) power process and provide saturated output power of 13W and 8W, respectively. The second-generation power amplifiers offer what is claimed to be the highest power density of any existing Ka-band GaN product on the market.

The broadband two-stage amplifiers both operate at 27-31GHz and, when integrated in high-efficiency solid-state power amplifiers (SSPAs), allow for higher data rates in communication systems.

The APN228 is a 16.0mm2 MMIC PA providing 19.5dB of linear gain, 41.2dBm (13W) of saturated output power and power-added efficiency (PAE) greater than 27%, offering an option for next-generation high-power and high-efficiency SSPAs for commercial and military satellite applications.

The APN229 is a 7.41mm2 MMIC PA providing 20dB of linear gain, 39dBm (8W) of saturated output power and PAE greater than 30%, and can act as a complementary driver amplifier to the APN228.

“GaN-based SSPAs are a far more desirable solution to costly traveling-wave tubes, which require more complex, higher-voltage power supplies and a lengthier production time,” says Frank Kropschot, general manager, Microelectronics Products and Services, Northrop Grumman Aerospace Systems. “APN228 and APN229 will allow our customers to reduce the cost and complexity of power-combining, and offer a significant cost advantage compared to the current generation of Ka-band products,” he believes.

Samples of the MMIC power amplifiers will be available by mid-July, and packaged versions will be available for sampling later this year.

See related items:

Northrop Grumman goes commercial with three GaN HEMT MMIC PAs

Northrop Grumman samples GaN packaged power amplifier for Ka-band communications

Tags: Northrop Grumman GaN HEMTs

Visit: www.northropgrumman.com/mps

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