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22 November 2018

Plextek RFI designs power amplifier module for Astro Digital

© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.

Plextek RFI Ltd of Cambridge, UK (which designs RFICs, MMICs and microwave/millimeter-wave modules) says it has designed and supplied a microwave power amplifier (PA) module for California-based satellite manufacturer and space mission operator Astro Digital.

Incorporating a power gallium nitride (GaN) output device and a gallium arsenide (GaAs) driver circuit, the module will form part of a propulsion system that is being supplied to an in-space transportation service company, and will be launched into space in 2019.

“The specification for this design project presented us with some significant challenges,” says CEO Liam Devlin. “The module design seeks to maximise the DC-to-RF conversion efficiency, and – as with all of our power amplifier designs – attention to detail was required to manage the thermal performance in a compact space. The different packaging technologies used for the driver amplifier and the output device also necessitated an innovative approach to the PCB design,” he adds.

“We needed a design partner who was skilled in all of the semiconductor device, circuit and packaging technologies needed for our space application,” comments Patrick Shannon of Astro Digital. “Plextek RFI’s experience with high-efficiency solid-state amplifiers and track record really stood out from the crowd.”

Tags: Plextek

Visit: www.plextekrfi.com

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