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50V GaN HEMT tech cuts cellular network power use

Posted: 01 Nov 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:cellular network? GaN HEMT? transistor? DC/DC converter?

Cree Inc. has announced a range of 50V GaN HEMT devices that according to the company enables a significant reduction in the energy needed to power cellular networks. The world's cellular network is estimated to consume more than 100TWh of electricity per year and 50-80 per cent of the networks' power is consumed by the systems' power amplifiers and feed infrastructure, noted the company.

Leveraging the innovative Cree technology, radio base station power amplifiers have demonstrated performance improvements of more than 20 per cent over incumbent technology at 2.6GHz operating under the latest 4G LTE signals. This increased power amplifier efficiency could save an estimated 10 TWh per year, the equivalent power output of two nuclear power plants.

While operational cost savings from increased efficiency can be significant, additional substantial savings are also possible in the acquisition cost of the system. A higher efficiency power amplifier can help OEMs save capital equipment costs through simplified cooling, and the higher voltage GaN components can lower the cost of AC/DC and DC/DC converters. Overall, the impact on the total BOM can be as much as 10 per cent, leading to significantly lower system costs.

Cree's 50V GaN HEMT transistors operating at 100W or 200W output powers are now released for both the 1.8-2.2GHz and 2.5-2.7GHz frequency bands. The devices are internally matched for optimum performance, enabling wide instantaneous bandwidths. Cree transistors are geared for high efficiency Doherty power amplifiers where power gains higher than 18dB at 2.14GHz and 16dB at 2.6GHz can be achieved respectively.

The Cree transistors are available in sample quantities with production quantities scheduled to be available in November.

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