GaN-on-SiC PA transistors will find use in 5G cellular infrastructure

September 09, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Infineon Technologies has introduced its first devices in a family of Gallium Nitride (GaN) on Silicon Carbide (SiC) RF power transistors. These devices allow manufacturers of mobile base stations to build smaller, more powerful and more flexible transmitters, with higher efficiency, improved power density and more bandwidth than currently used RF power transistors.

These RF power transistors claim 10% higher efficiency and five times the power density of the LDMOS transistors commonly used today. This translates to smaller footprints and power requirements for the power amplifiers (PA) of base station transmitters in use today, which operate in either the 1.8-2.2 GHz or 2.3-2.7 GHz frequency range. Future GaN on SiC devices will also support 5G cellular bands up to the 6 GHz frequency range.

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 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.