Infineon Unfurls ‘GaN Devices’ for Mobile Base Station Transmitters and Charts Path to 5G Cellular Infrastructure

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Delivering the next generation communication fabric, Infineon Technologies AG has unveiled its first devices in a family of Gallium Nitride (GaN) on Silicon Carbide (SiC) RF power transistors.

As part of Infineon’s GaN portfolio the devices allow manufacturers of mobile base stations 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 pave the way for the transition to 5G technology with higher data volumes and thus, enhanced user-experience.

“This new device family combines innovation with knowledge of the application requirements for cellular infrastructure to provide our global customer base with next-generation RF power transistors. They allow significant improvement in the operating performance and reduction in size of the transmitter side of mobile base stations,” said Gerhard Wolf, Vice President and General Manager of Infineon’s RF Power product line. “Additionally, with the transition to wide bandgap semiconductor technology, we are setting the pace for the continued evolution of the cellular infrastructure.”

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 bands up 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.