MACOM launches fourth-generation GaN technology
M/A-COM Technology Solutions Inc of Lowell, MA, USA (which makes semiconductors, components and subassemblies for analog RF, microwave, millimeter-wave and photonic applications) has launched its fourth generation of gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) technology.
Delivering performance that is said to rival more expensive GaN on silicon carbide (GaN-on-SiC) at a projected volume-production cost structure below that of incumbent LDMOS technology, fourth-generation GaN (Gen4 GaN) is targeted at breaking the final technical and commercial barriers to mainstream GaN adoption. Gen4 GaN performance will be on display in booth #2839 at the IEEE MTT-S International Microwave Symposium (IMS 2015) in Phoenix, AZ (19-21 May).
Gen4 GaN delivers greater than 70% peak efficiency and 19dB gain for modulated signals at 2.7GHz, which is similar to GaN-on-SiC technologies and more than 10 percentage points greater efficiency than LDMOS. It also delivers power densityA figure of merit usually expressed in Joules per cubic inch for capacitorsA figure of merit usually expressed in Joules per cubic inch for capacitorsA figure of merit usually expressed in Joules per cubic inch for capacitors that is more than four times that of LDMOS. This performance is expected to yield GaN-based devices that are half the semiconductor cost per watt of comparable LDMOS products and much lower-cost than comparably performing GaN on SiC wafers at volume production levels.
MACOM says that Gen4 GaN extends the commercialization trajectories of earlier generations of GaN-on-Si, which have demonstrated field-proven reliability in harsh environmental conditions. To date, more than 1 million devices have been operating for as long as five years in demanding military applications in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“Gen4 will unlock the full promise of GaN for mainstream commercial applications,” believes president & CEO John Croteau. “We expect its impact on the RF & microwave industry will be transformative,” he adds. “Our GaN IP portfolio and strategic licensing agreements set the foundation for a sustainable, cost-efficient technology and supply-chain model enabling GaN production at unprecedented economies of scale.”