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8 September 2015

Infineon introduces GaN devices for mobile base-station transmitters; charts path to 5G cellular infrastructure

In booth C309 (Hall Ternes) at European Microwave Week (EuMW 2015) in Paris, France (6-11 September), Infineon Technologies AG of Munich, Germany has introduced its first devices in a family of gallium nitride on silicon carbide (GaN-on-SiC) RF power transistors.

Infineon says that, as part of its GaN portfolio, the devices allow mobile base-station manufacturers to build smaller, more powerful and more flexible transmitters. With higher efficiency, improved power density and more bandwidth than existing RF power transistors, the new devices improve the economics of building infrastructure to support current cellular networks, claims the firm. They should also pave the way for the transition to 5G technology with higher data volumes, it adds.

"This new device family combines innovation with knowledge of the application requirements for cellular infrastructure to provide our global customer base with next-generation RF power transistors, says Gerhard Wolf, VP & general manager of Infineon's RF Power product line. "They allow significant improvement in the operating performance and reduction in size of the transmitter side of mobile base stations," he adds. "Additionally, with the transition to wide-bandgap semiconductor technology, we are setting the pace for the continued evolution of the cellular infrastructure."

The new RF power transistors leverage the performance of GaN technology to achieve 10% higher efficiency and five times the power density of the LDMOS transistors commonly used today, it is reckoned. This translates to smaller footprints and power requirements for the power amplifiers (PA) of base-station transmitters currently in use, which operate in either the 1.8-2.2 or 2.3-2.7GHz frequency range. Future GaN-on-SiC devices will also support 5G cellular bands up to the 6GHz frequency range. Infineon reckons that this roadmap allows it to build on its expertise and production technologies for RF transistor technology.

Design flexibility and support for the next-generation of 4G technology are additional benefits of GaN devices for RF power applications. The new devices have twice the RF bandwidth of LDMOS, so that one power amplifier (PA) can support multiple operating frequencies. They also have increased instantaneous bandwidth available for transmitters, which lets a carrier offer higher dates using the data aggregation technique specified for 4.5G cellular networks.

Engineering samples and reference designs are available to customers under specific non-disclosure agreements (NDA).

Earlier this year, Infineon described its broadened patent portfolio related to GaN and announced the expansion of its GaN-on-silicon (GaN/Si) range, GaN/Si epitaxy process and 100-600V technologies resulting from the acquisition of International Rectifier. Infineon also announced a strategic partnership aimed at integrating enhancement-mode GaN-on-silicon transistor structure into its surface-mount device (SMD) packages, providing a highly efficient, easy-to-use 600V GaN power device with the added benefit of dual sourcing.

See related items:

Infineon to acquire International Rectifier for $3bn

Tags: Infineon GaN-on-silicon GaN-on-SiC

Visit: www.infineon.com/rfpower

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