Nitronex Corp., a privately held manufacturer of gallium nitride (GaN) based radio frequency (RF) power transistors, has been issued U.S. Patent No. 6,617,060. Additionally, Nitronex, in collaboration with aviation electronics and communications leader Rockwell Collins, announce the demonstration of a single unit GaN transistor yielding record-breaking output power of 120 W.
The latest Nitronex patent was issued on Sept. 9, 2003 and is entitled "Gallium Nitride Material and Methods." The patent teaches process technology used for growing GaN semiconductor layers on silicon substrates and includes Nitronex’s SIGANTIC. core platform technology.
Kevin Linthicum, Nitronex’s CTO stated, “The issuance of this patent strengthens our intellectual property space and differentiates Nitronex from others commercializing gallium nitride semiconductors. This is a valuable addition to Nitronex’s portfolio and is of strategic importance as it captures very broad protection for depositing device-quality gallium nitride on industry standard silicon wafers.”
Nitronex used the SIGANTIC. platform and fabricated the 120-W device, employing their baseline process developed for 3G-WCDMA market applications. Rockwell Collins packaged and tested the device at their Cedar Rapids, Iowa, facility. Nitronex’s GaN High Electron Mobility Transistor (HEMT) technology is being evaluated by Rockwell for a variety of pulsed power applications. The results reported were from a 39-mm gate width device pulse tested (pulse width of 11.4 microseconds at 5% duty cycle) at 2 GHz and 28 V. At 2 dB into compression, the device exhibited a gain of 11.3 dB with an efficiency of over 39%.
The current results of the combined effort between Nitronex and Rockwell Collins validates that GaN has great potential to play a major role in future RF power amplifier systems.