Hillsboro, OR — TriQuint Semiconductor has announced the availability of a revolutionary high power discrete RF transistor family for broadband applications including radar, signal jammers and wireless communications. The PowerBand™ family was recently unveiled today at the MILCOM military communications conference and exhibition at the San Diego Convention Center (USA).
PowerBand devices deliver high power performance across an exceptionally wide bandwidth while maintaining very high efficiency. Previous broadband market solutions traded-off performance to achieve relative wide-band service. This innovation achieves unprecedented bandwidth coverage without sacrificing efficiency or other key performance parameters.
TriQuint President and CEO Ralph Quinsey comments, "PowerBand changes the wireless equation, creating an opportunity to save a tremendous amount of space, cost and energy. Because it efficiently delivers high power across unprecedented bandwidth, an RF design may require only one transistor line-up instead of several. This directly impacts the bill of materials and size of end user products."
According to PowerBand co-inventor and General Manager of the TriQuint Colorado Design Center, "A traditional high power RF transistor is designed to operate across a narrow frequency range, such as 2.53 to 2.65 GHz. Within that range it delivers power relatively efficiently. But as bandwidth increases, performance falls. PowerBand is totally different in its ability to deliver high power — up to 50 W — and high efficiency performance — 50 percent PAE, typical — across a much wider frequency range, from 500 MHz to 3 GHz."
PowerBand devices have been reviewed by companies that require high power broadband RF transistors for their designs including Milpower, Inc., a California-based supplier of RF power systems for defense, military and aerospace contractors.
"The improved efficiency and bandwidth will pay system dividends in the form of less PCB area dedicated to RF, longer battery life, the opportunity to reshape end products and reduce size, as well as less need for thermal management," said Dean Schulze, Senior Development Engineer, Milpower, Inc.
Many broadband defense and military programs could benefit from this technology. In typical applications, one PowerBand transistor amplifier line-up (containing 2-4 devices) covering an entire band could replace three or more traditional transistor amplifier line-ups (containing 2-4 devices). In a typical application, 2-4 PowerBand devices could replace between 6 and 12 conventional RF transistors.
PowerBand enables greater efficiency for mobile as well as ground-based RF networks infrastructure applications. In the case of mobile devices, greater efficiency can extend battery life and reduce system over-heating. Efficiency in ground-based systems translates into less waste heat, which can reduce power costs and carbon footprints associated with heat removal while also reducing the amount of equipment dedicated to thermal management. For both mobile and ground-based RF systems, PowerBand can reduce BOMs, speed assembly and shrink inventory overhead.
The technology is also incredibly flexible, meaning that it can be applied to most common semiconductor processes that manufacturers use to create RF transistors. PowerBand devices can be developed using gallium arsenide (GaAs), gallium nitride (GaN), as well as RF LDMOS (laterally diffused metal oxide semiconductor) technologies.
Prototypes and evaluation boards are now available and product delivery is scheduled for the second quarter of 2009. The first family of PowerBand devices offer output power from 10 to 50 W; operating voltages range from 12 to 28 V and operational frequency ranges from 500 MHz to 3 GHz.
For further information visit www.triquint.com/powerband.