Microsemi Expands S-Band RF Power Transistor Family to Include High-Performance GaN-on-SiC Devices

Continues to Advance Transistor Technology to Enable Next-Generation Pulsed Radar and Other Mission-Critical Systems

Irvine, California, UNITED STATES

IRVINE, Calif., June 6, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq:MSCC), a leading provider of semiconductor technology aimed at building a smart, secure, connected world, has expanded its family of S-band RF power transistors to include devices that use advanced gallium nitride (GaN) process technology on a silicon carbide (SiC) substrate. The company's GaN-on-SiC high-pulsed power transistors deliver industry-leading peak power and power gain for radar systems operating in the 2.7 GHz to 3.5 GHz frequency band.

"This is a significant step in Microsemi's ongoing strategy to extend its product development and marketing initiatives to support the increasingly challenging requirements of next-generation air traffic control and other radar systems," said Charlie Leader, Microsemi vice president and general manager. "By expanding our power transistor offering beyond traditional silicon material to use the latest compound semiconductor technologies, we take performance to the next level, create new markets for our products, and demonstrate our continuing commitment to customers in the radar systems development business."

Microsemi has leveraged its industry-leading expertise in S-band RF power transistors to create a family of GaN-on-SiC solutions that are tailored to support the requirements of next-generation systems requiring higher power, better efficiency, and wider bandwidth than is possible using conventional silicon or SiC process technologies. For applications operating in frequency bands up to 20GHz, the wide bandgap material properties of GaN-on-SiC technology enable smaller systems with improved voltage, gain, broadband performance, drain efficiency, and long-term reliability. 

Microsemi's new GaN-on-SiC power transistors complement the company's extensive family of Silicon BJT, RF MOSFET (VDMOS) and RF NPN power transistors, including SiC SIT devices that provide superior performance in high-power UHF Band pulsed radar applications operating at frequencies up to 450 MHz. Microsemi also uses GaN technology for a family of Enhancement Mode GaN field-effect transistors (FETs) used in satellites and other military power conversion, point-of-load, and high speed switching applications.

Product Details

Microsemi's GaN-on-SiC devices feature drain breakdown voltage well above 350 Volts (V), enabling them to operate with a drain bias of 60 V while delivering significantly higher reliability than devices manufactured using laterally diffused metal oxide semiconductor (LDMOS) technology. The higher drain bias improves peak power output while yielding more user-friendly impedance levels and simplified circuit-matching requirements across the full system bandwidth. Microsemi's GaN-on-SiC devices also deliver more than 13dB of power gain and cover 400 MHz of bandwidth. 

Microsemi's new power transistors also reduce system size. As an example, the company's 2729GN-270 transistor replaces a conventional three-stage Si BJT transistor amplifier consisting of a driver transistor plus one output pallet with two 150W transistors. This substantially reduces system size and complexity while improving system power and efficiency.

Microsemi has released two products for each of three frequency bands: 

  • 2.7-2.9GHz Band for air traffic control applications (pulse format: 100 us, 10 percent; power gain: 13 ~ 14dB typical; efficiency of 55 to 60 percent)
  • 2729GN-270 – 280 W power (typical)
  • 2729GN-150 – 160 W power (typical)
  • 2.7-3.1GHz Band for air traffic control applications (pulse format: 200 us, 10%; power gain: 12 ~13 dB typical; efficiency of 50 to 55 percent)
  • 2731GN-200 – 220 W power (typical)
  • 2731GN-110 – 120 W power (typical)
  • 3.1-3.5GHz Band for airborne tracking applications (pulse format: 300 us, 10%; power gain: 11 ~ 12 dB typical; efficiency of 45 to 50 percent)
  • 3135GN-170 – 180 W power (typical)
  • 3135GN-100 – 115 W power (typical

Sample units are available for evaluation now. Additional information can be obtained at GaN@Microsemi.com.

About Microsemi

Microsemi Corporation (Nasdaq:MSCC) offers the industry's most comprehensive portfolio of semiconductor technology. Committed to solving the most critical system challenges, Microsemi's products include high-performance, high-reliability analog and RF devices, mixed signal integrated circuits, FPGAs and customizable SoCs, and complete subsystems. Microsemi serves leading system manufacturers around the world in the defense, security, aerospace, enterprise, commercial, and industrial markets. Learn more at http://www.microsemi.com.

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"Safe Harbor" Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Any statements set forth in this news release that are not entirely historical and factual in nature, including without limitation statements related to expanding our family of S-band RF power transistors to include devices that use advanced gallium nitride (GaN) process technology on a silicon carbide (SiC) substrate, and its potential effects on future business, are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and are inherently subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed in the forward-looking statements. The potential risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, such factors as rapidly changing technology and product obsolescence, potential cost increases, variations in customer order preferences, weakness or competitive pricing environment of the marketplace, uncertain demand for and acceptance of the company's products, adverse circumstances in any of our end markets, results of in-process or planned development or marketing and promotional campaigns, difficulties foreseeing future demand, potential non-realization of expected orders or non-realization of backlog, product returns, product liability, and other potential unexpected business and economic conditions or adverse changes in current or expected industry conditions, difficulties and costs of protecting patents and other proprietary rights, inventory obsolescence and difficulties regarding customer qualification of products. In addition to these factors and any other factors mentioned elsewhere in this news release, the reader should refer as well to the factors, uncertainties or risks identified in the company's most recent Form 10-K and all subsequent Form 10-Q reports filed by Microsemi with the SEC. Additional risk factors may be identified from time to time in Microsemi's future filings. The forward-looking statements included in this release speak only as of the date hereof, and Microsemi does not undertake any obligation to update these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.



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