RF GaN-onSi prototypes from STMicroelectronics

“GaN can offer superior RF characteristics and significantly higher output power than LDMOS for these RF PAs,” according to ST. “RF GaN-on-SiC can be more expensive because of the competition for SiC wafers from high-power applications and because of its non-mainstream semiconductor processing.”

Prototype wafers and devices manufactured by ST, claims ST, have achieved cost and performance targets that would allow them to effectively compete with LDMOS and GaN-on-SiC.

The next milestones are qualification and industrialisation, which ST believes it will reach this year.

“Our collaboration with ST is an important part of our RF power strategy and I am confident that we can win market share in targeted applications where the GaN-on-Silicon technology meets the technical requirements,” said Macom president and CEO Stephen Daly. “Together, we continue to make good progress in moving the GaN-on-Si technology towards commercialisation and high-volume production.”

Based in Massachusetts, Macom designs and manufactures RF, microwave, analogue, mixed-signal and optical semiconductors for telecoms, industrial, defence, automotive and datacentres. It already makes products using both GaN-on-Si and GaN-on-SiC processes.

The photo is of STM’s Crolles wafer fab with, should you be interested, the south eastern ramparts of the Chartreuse mountain range in the background.

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