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Sumitomo Electric Debuts Ku-Band GaN HEMT Power Amplifier for SATCOM Applications

Satellite Technology

Satellite Technology Feature Article

June 05, 2013

Sumitomo Electric Debuts Ku-Band GaN HEMT Power Amplifier for SATCOM Applications

By Jayashree Adkoli, TMCnet Contributor

Sumitomo Electric (News - Alert) Device Innovations USA, Inc. (SEDU), a provider of advanced radio frequency (RF), wireless and optical communications solutions, debuted a Ku-Band Gallium Nitride (GaN) high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) power amplifier (PA), SGK1314-50A PA, for satellite communication (SATCOM) applications.

GaN HEMT provides a combination of higher power, higher efficiency and wider bandwidth compared to its competing GaAs and other silicon (Si) based technologies. According to sources, the GaN technology has the capability to provide significantly higher output powers of up to 50W compared to 30W provided by GaAs.

The new SGK1314-50A PA is tuned for operation from 13.75 to 14.5 GHz. It is internally matched for extended Ku SATCOM band to provide optimum power and gain in a 50-ohm system.

In addition, the high-power GaN-HEMT feature in the new SGK1314-50A PA reduces the number of PAs required in a system. its high gain is typically 8db. Additionally, the high PAE feature in the SGK1314-50A PA facilitates for efficient operation and lower power consumption

"Our expertise in GaN technology offers new possibilities to SATCOM applications. The new GaN PAs provide the ability to simplify the design by reducing the number of required transistors," says John Wyatt, president of Sumitomo Electric Device Innovations U.S.A., in a statement. "For example, the 50W GaN HEMT replaces 2 GaAs FETs and also provides higher gain and efficiency."

In recent news, Sumitomo Electric joined hands with Xilinx (News - Alert) to bring smarter solutions to market. These solutions are anticipated to reduce CapEx and OpEx costs through the use of Sumitomo’s GaN PA transistors and Xilinx SmartCORE IP that result in higher radio unit efficiencies.

To date, SEDU’s line of optical components and modules are being used in the telecom, CATV, broadband, and data communications markets. It specializes in GaAs devices as well.

The executive summary of Strategy Analytics’ (News - Alert) research report, “GaAs Device Opportunities from the Satcom/VSAT Market: 2008-2013,” says that the demand for gallium arsenide (GaAs) and discrete devices will steadily increase as the consumer demand for broadband services will fuel SATCOM system rollouts. The GaAs technology’s largest opportunities will be for Ku and Ka-band power amplifiers.

Edited by Ashley Caputo

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