Wolfspeed, A Cree company, of Durham, NC, USA has launched a gallium nitride (GaN) high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) RF device, said to solve a number of long-standing issues for radar systems employing traditional travelling wave tube (TWT) amplifiers. GaN-based solid-state amplifiers operating at 50V are not prone to the failure mechanisms seen with high-voltage (kV) TWT power amplifier, thus providing longer lifetimes. Also, such solid-state systems provide near-instant on capability – with no warm up, longer detection ranges and improved target discrimination.
Conceived from the start to enable these system benefits, Cree's CGHV59350 GaN RF transistor has been engineered to provide the highest power and efficiency housed in a small package size. CGHV59350 is the highest-power C-band transistor on the market, fully matched to 50Ω in a single-ended package of its size. Offering pulsed saturated power performance typically greater than 400W, the CGHV59350 is most often used in ground-based defense and Doppler weather radar systems. The GaN HEMT operates over a 5.2–5.9GHz bandwidth and exhibits 60% typical drain efficiency.