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4 June 2019

NXP unveils first GaN-on-SiC transistor for 2.45GHz RF energy surpassing efficiency of most magnetrons

At the IEEE’s International Microwave Symposium (IMS 2019) in Boston, MA, USA (4–6 June), NXP Semiconductors N.V. of Eindhoven, The Netherlands has unveiled what it claims is the first RF power transistor designed for RF energy using gallium nitride on silicon carbide (GaN-on-SiC). Leveraging the high efficiency of GaN, the MRF24G300HS exceeds the efficiency of most magnetrons at 2.45GHz, while the high thermal conductivity of SiC helps to ensure continuous wave (CW) operation.

For more than 50 years, 2.45GHz magnetrons have been widely used in consumer and industrial applications ranging from microwave ovens to high-power welding machines. Solid-state solutions appeared on the market several years ago, bringing advanced control, reliability and ease of use. The capability to dynamically adjust the power, frequency and phase helps to optimize the energy transmitted to the material or food being heated. The long lifetime of transistors at full rated performance reduces the need for replacements. However, until the advent of GaN-on-SiC for RF energy, solid-state devices lacked the efficiency to meet the incumbent magnetrons’ performance standards.

The MRF24G300HS is a 330W CW, 50V GaN-on-SiC transistor, demonstrating 73% drain efficiency at 2.45GHz, which is five points higher than the latest LDMOS silicon technologies. The high power density of GaN enables the device to reach high output power in a small footprint. GaN technology has an inherently high output impedance that allows broadband matching compared with LDMOS. This reduces the design time and ensures consistency on the manufacturing line, so no more hand tuning is needed. The simplified gate biasing of the MRF24G300HS RF transistor removes another step of the otherwise complex power-up sequence typically seen on GaN devices.

“The smart control, low maintenance and ease of use of solid-state open the door to new use cases, such as smart cooking and industry 4.0 heating machines,” says Paul Hart, senior VP & general manager of NXP’s Radio Power Solutions. “By breaking the efficiency barrier of vacuum tubes, we enable our customers to unlock innovation without any compromise on performance.”

The MRF24G300HS RF transistor is sampling now and production is planned for third-quarter 2019. The 2400-2500MHz reference circuit is available now, under order number MRF24G300HS-2450MHZ. As part of the NXP Partner Program, Prescient Wireless Inc has designed a 2-up, 550W power amplifier pallet with 45dB of gain, which will be shown at IMS.

Tags: NXP

Visit: www.ims-ieee.org

Visit: www.nxp.com

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