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Microsemi GaN FETs suit up for outer space

Posted: 23 Mar 2011 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Gallium Nitride? GaN? FETs? satellites? power conversion?

Microsemi Corp. reports on the development of Gallium Nitride FETs designed for satellites and other military power conversion, point-of-load, and high speed switching applications.

The FETs are built on a wide band gap material, which increases performance over current radiation-hardened silicon MOSFETs. The FETs provide low parasitic capacitance which reduces switching losses by at least 50 percent resulting in higher efficiency circuits; low on-resistance to minimize conduction losses resulting in circuit efficiency gains; and radiation performance.

Microsemi is working with the Efficient Power Conversion (EPC) organization to develop a line of high performance FETS for high reliability space and military applications. The first new devices will be offered by Microsemi in voltages of 40V, 60V, 100V, 150V, and 200V and will have drain-to-source on-resistance values of 4m to 100m. The devices are expected to deliver high temperature performance with junction temperatures approaching 300C. A family of standard through-hole and surface-mount packages in addition to flip chip die will be available.

Preliminary radiation testing of the devices has shown high single event effect and total ionizing dose capability. This allows the devices to operate in high orbit and deep space missions without degradation to performance. Microsemi will work closely with the Defense Logistics Agency to define the test specifications within standard military drawings (MIL-PRF-19500 slashsheets), assuring customers of the performance capabilities of these products.

Prototype customer samples are expected to be available by mid-2011 with production quantities by November 2011.

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