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RF transistors deliver high performance at wide bandwidth

Posted: 27 Nov 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:broadband? RF transistor? wireless communications?

TriQuint Semiconductor has released a new high power discrete RF transistor family for broadband applications including radar, signal jammers and wireless communications.

TriQuint's new PowerBand family delivers high power performance across a wide bandwidth while maintaining high efficiency. Previous broadband market solutions have traded-off performance to achieve relative wideband service but TriQuint's PowerBand innovation achieves bandwidth coverage without sacrificing efficiency or other key performance parameters.

Many broadband defense and military programs could benefit from TriQuint's new technology. In typical applications, one PowerBand transistor amplifier line-up (containing 2-4 devices) covering an entire band could replace three or more traditional transistor amplifier line-ups (containing 2-4 devices). In a typical application, 2-4 PowerBand devices could replace between 6 and 12 conventional RF transistors.

PowerBand enables greater efficiency for mobile as well as ground-based RF networks infrastructure applications. In the case of mobile devices, greater efficiency can extend battery life and reduce system overheating. Efficiency in ground-based systems translates into less waste heat, which can reduce power costs and carbon footprints associated with heat removal while also reducing the amount of equipment dedicated to thermal management. For both mobile and ground-based RF systems, PowerBand can reduce BOMs, speed assembly and shrink inventory overhead.

In addition, PowerBand technology is flexible and can be applied to most common semiconductor processes that manufacturers use to create RF transistors. PowerBand devices can be developed using gallium arsenide, gallium nitride, as well as RF LDMOS technologies.

"PowerBand changes the wireless equation, creating an opportunity to save a tremendous amount of space, cost and energy. Because PowerBand efficiently delivers high power across unprecedented bandwidth, an RF design may require only one transistor line-up instead of several. This fact directly impacts the bill of materials and size of end user products by substantially reducing space dedicated to RF," explained TriQuint president and CEO Ralph Quinsey.

Bill McCalpin, PowerBand co-inventor and general manager, TriQuint Colorado Design Center, said: "A traditional high power RF transistor is designed to operate across a narrow frequency range, such as 2.53GHz to 2.65GHz. Within that range it delivers power relatively efficiently. But as bandwidth increases, performance falls. PowerBand is totally different in its ability to deliver high powerup to 50Wand high efficiency performance50 percent PAE, typicalacross a much wider frequency range, from 500MHz to 3GHz."

PowerBand product delivery is scheduled for Q2 09. TriQuint's first family of PowerBand devices offer output power from 10- to 50W; operating voltages range from 12V to 28V and operational frequency ranges from 500MHz to 3GHz.

- Paul Buckley
Power Management DesignLine Europe

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