GaN RF portfolio boosted with Ka-band MMIC for SatCom terminals

Satellite communication systems employ complex modulation schemes to deliver the blazingly fast data rates needed to produce video and broadband data. To achieve this, they must deliver high RF output power while simultaneously ensuring the signals preserve their desired characteristics. The new GMICP2731-10 GaN MMIC power amplifier announced by Microchip Technology helps satisfy both of these demands.

The new device, the company’s first GaN MMIC, is intended for commercial and defence satellite communications, 5G networks and other aerospace and defence systems.

The device is fabricated using GaN-on-SiC technology. It produces up to 10W of saturated RF output power over the 3.5GHz of bandwidth between 27.5GHz to 31GHz. Its power-added efficiency is 20%, with 22dB of small-signal gain and 15dB of return loss. A balanced architecture enables the device to be well matched to 50-Ohms and includes integrated DC blocking capacitors at the output to simplify design integration.

“As communication systems employ complex modulation schemes such as 128-QAM and as the power of solid-state power amplifiers trends ever upwards, RF power amplifier designers have the difficult challenge of finding higher power solutions while at the same time reducing weight and power consumption,” said Leon Gross, vice president of Microchip’s Discrete Products Group business unit. “GaN MMICs used in high power SSPAs can achieve greater than 30% lower power and weight as compared to their GaAs counterparts, which is a huge gain for satellite OEMs. This product delivers on the promise of GaN and enables the size, weight, power and cost OEMs are searching for.”