Infineon Technologies recently introduced its first devices in a family of Gallium Nitride (GaN) on Silicon Carbide (SiC) RF power transistors. The devices enable mobile base station manufacturers to build smaller, more powerful and more flexible transmitters. With higher efficiency, improved power density, and more bandwidth than currently used RF power transistors, the new devices improve the economics of building infrastructure to support today’s cellular networks. Additionally, they will enable the transition to 5G technology with higher data volumes and enhanced user-experience.
The new RF power transistors leverage the performance of GaN technology to achieve ten percent 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 bandsup to the 6 GHz frequency range. This roadmap allows Infineon to build on its long-standing expertise and state-of-the-art production technologies for RF transistor technology.
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.
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