Power Amp Wars Begin For 5G


Demand is increasing for power amplifier chips and other RF devices for 5G base stations, setting the stage for a showdown among different companies and technologies. The power amplifier device is a key component that boosts the RF power signals in base stations. It's based on two competitive technologies, silicon-based LDMOS or RF gallium nitride (GaN). GaN, a III-V technology, outperforms ... » read more

Beyond-Line-Of-Sight Troposcatter Communications Primer


Though tropospheric scatter (troposcatter, or tropo) communications technology has existed since the 1950s and was used by the U.S. military from 1960 to 2002, this legacy technology is being revitalized in the wake of concerns around the reliability of tactical satellite communications (Satcom). For several decades, satellites were a reliable and secure method of communications that provided s... » read more

Generalized Class-E Power Amplifier With Shunt Capacitance And Shunt Filter


This paper presents a generalized analysis of the Class-E power amplifier (PA) with a shunt capacitance and a shunt filter, leading to a revelation of a unique design flexibility that can be exploited either to extend the maximum operating frequency of the PA or to allow the use of larger active devices with higher power handling capability. The proposed PA fulfills zero voltage switching (ZVS)... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tools, packaging/test VLSI Research has released its 200mm wafer fab equipment (WFE) market share figures for 2019. The top three suppliers--Applied Materials, TEL, and ASML—saw growth in the 2019 200mm WFE business. Lam Research was in fourth place, followed by KLA and Canon. In total, 200mm wafer fab equipment sales were $3.6 billion in 2019, declining 5% from 2018, according to the fi... » read more

Improving Reliability For GaN And SiC


Suppliers of gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC) power devices are rolling out the next wave of products with some new and impressive specs. But before these devices are incorporated in systems, they must prove to be reliable. As with previous products, suppliers are quick to point out that the new devices are reliable, although there are some issues that can occasionally surface... » read more

RF And Microwave Solid-State Power Amplifiers Design Is A Speciality


In the world of RF and microwave engineering, the design and development of solid-state amplifiers is a specialty. It has always required many years of specialized engineering experience and a suitable collection of test and measurement equipment. While these will always be necessary, to be successful in the marketplace today, it is also essential to use a combination of specialized and general... » read more

Latest IC Outlook: More Uncertainty


So far in 2020, it’s been a difficult period in the semiconductor industry amid the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak and other issues. And heading into the second half of 2020, the industry faces more challenges, if not uncertainty, in the market. Many segments in the semiconductor industry face some headwinds, but there might be some positive news in the equipment business. To be sure,... » read more

High-Performance 300 kW 3-Phase SiC Inverter Based On Next Generation Modular SiC Power Modules


Wolfspeed presents a new high-performance, low-cost, compact 3-phase inverter based on next generation power modules which are specifically optimized to fully utilize Wolfspeed’s third generation of silicon carbide (SiC) MOSFETs. The inverter was designed with a holistic approach with careful consideration of module specifications, busbar technology, DC link capacitors, and a high-performance... » read more

How GaN On SiC Lowers 5G Base Station Costs


GaN’s higher efficiency at 5G frequencies compared with LDMOS also means a lower operating cost per bit/second and a lower carbon footprint. Wolfspeed, a Cree company, and dominant player in the GaN on SiC device market, estimates that GaN on SiC can save over 200 W of DC power compared to a system that uses LDMOS power amplifiers (PAs) when operated at maximum average power. Continue read... » read more

Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Fab tool shipping costs The coronavirus is impacting semiconductor equipment companies. Many have withdrawn their previous forecasts. “It has also led to a rise in shipping costs,” said Krish Sankar, an analyst with Cowen, in a research note. Most semiconductor equipment and components are shipped via air, according to Sankar. The exception is flat-panel display equipment and other sys... » read more

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