Better Materials: GaN-on-SiC Substrates
Cree RF products use GaN on silicon-carbide substrates. SiC provides inherent advantages over silicon substrates — advantages that significantly benefit Cree customers.
GaN-on-SiC = Higher Efficiency
- Less energy is dissipated as heat, thus
- less cooling of the PA is required, reducing the number of fans
- the heat sink is smaller, which means the overall PA is smaller
- the power supply is smaller because GaN HEMTs draw less current
GaN-on-SiC = Higher Power Density
- Cree’s GaN process technologies have power densities of 4 W to 8 W per millimeter of gate periphery
- Higher power density directly results in smaller-sized transistors, which allows:
- smaller power amplifiers for the same output power
- smaller transistors/MMIC/switches/LNAs means a smaller heat sink, smaller PCB, smaller PA enclosure
GaN-on-SiC Advantages Can Lower Your Bill-of-Material Costs
- Smaller heat sinks = lower cost
- Smaller enclosures = lower cost
- Smaller power supply = lower cost
- Smaller cooling requirements = lower cost
- Flexibility = the same transistor/MMIC part number for many PA designs
- Higher-volume orders of the same PN result in lower costs
Plus, GaN Supports Wide-Band RF Operation-Gap Technology
- Previously Si LDMOS based PAs (which are narrow-band) would require multiple PAs to cover wide frequency ranges, result in “band splitting.”
- With GaN, a single broadband PA will often meet the specification, eliminating the need to band-split.
Cree was the first
- to offer GaN HEMTs for 4G communications
- to offer GaN HEMTs for 5-GHz WiMAX/LTE
- to achieve record wideband efficiencies
- to break 400 W with a single GaN HEMT
- to offer GaN PA and LNA MMICs
Cree GaN HEMTs resulted in innovation within the telecom Industry with the ability to design wider-bandwidth Doherty power amplifiers. Telecom efficiency improved even further with companies implementing digital predistortion (DPD) algorithms in order to capitalize on the high degree of correctability for GaN HEMTs.
Contact Cree to learn how we can bring these advantages, and more, to you.