—Integra Technologies is one of very few manufacturers which offer volume production of GaN, LDMOS and Si Bipolar as in-house standard processes.
Several active device semiconductor technologies are available today to amplify pulsed and continuous-wave (CW) signals across narrow or wide bandwidths from HF/VHF/UHF to L-, S-, C-, and X-band frequencies and beyond
But while more recent power-transistor technologies such as GaN are dominating new system designs, knowledge and insight on well-established, legacy semiconductor technologies such as silicon bipolar, Si LDMOS/VDMOS transistors are still invaluable to any high power amplifier (HPA) designer today.
Thermal management becomes the common denominator between the two, and although different types of RF/microwave power transistors are capable of high-power efficiency, no power transistor is 100% power efficient, as some DC and RF power supplied to a power transistor will always be lost as heat. Amplifying CW signals, or long-pulse length and/or high-duty-cycle pulses, will result in more heat from one transistor technology than another and will vary when compared to handling short pulses or low-duty-cycle pulses. So, in many cases, certain proven silicon devices are still the most ideal choice.
So, while the silicon bipolar junction transistor (Si BJT) might be recognized as legacy technology in comparison to today’s more advanced gallium nitride on silicon carbide (GaN-on-SiC) RF power semiconductor technology, it is by no means an obsolete technology. For example, Si BJT amplifiers have the smallest and lowest-cost circuits and only need a single positive supply voltage.
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