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Application of GaN in 5G

wallpapers Tech 2021-01-06
Radio frequency gallium nitride technology is a perfect match for 5G, and base station power amplifiers use gallium nitride. Gallium nitride (GaN), gallium arsenide (GaAs) and indium phosphide (InP) are commonly used semiconductor materials in radio frequency applications.
 
Compared with high-frequency processes such as gallium arsenide and indium phosphide, gallium nitride devices output more power; compared with power processes such as LDCMOS and silicon carbide (SiC), gallium nitride has better frequency characteristics. The instantaneous bandwidth of GaN devices is higher, which is very important. The use of carrier aggregation technology and the preparation of higher frequency carriers are all in order to obtain greater bandwidth.
 
Compared with silicon or other devices, gallium nitride is faster. GaN can achieve higher power density. For a given power level, GaN has the advantage of being small. With smaller devices, the device capacitance can be reduced, making the design of higher bandwidth systems easier. A key component in the radio frequency circuit is the PA (Power Amplifier, power amplifier).
 
From the current application point of view, power amplifiers are mainly composed of gallium arsenide power amplifiers and complementary metal-oxide semiconductor power amplifiers (CMOS PA), of which GaAs PA is the mainstream, but with the advent of 5G, gallium arsenide devices It will not be sufficient to maintain a high level of integration at such a high frequency.
 
As a result, GaN has become the next hot spot. As a wide-bandgap semiconductor, GaN can withstand higher operating voltages, which means that its power density and operating temperature are higher, so it has the characteristics of high power density, low energy consumption, suitable for high frequencies, and wide bandwidth.
 
In the application of Massive MIMO, the key technology of 5G, a large number of array antennas (such as 32/64, etc.) are used on the base station transceiver to achieve greater wireless data flow and connection reliability. This architecture requires a corresponding radio frequency transceiver unit The array is matched, so the number of radiofrequency devices will greatly increase. The size of the device is critical. Using the small size, high efficiency and high power density of GaN can realize highly integrated solutions, such as modular radio frequency front-end devices.
 
At the same time, in 5G millimeter-wave applications, the high power density of GaN can effectively reduce the number of transceiver channels and the size of the overall solution under the same coverage conditions and user tracking function. Realize the optimal combination of performance cost.
 
In addition to the large increase in the number of radiofrequency components required in the base station radio frequency transceiver unit display, the density of base stations and the number of base stations will also greatly increase. Therefore, compared with the 3G and 4G eras, the radio frequency components in the 5G era will be dozens of times or even higher. The number has increased by a hundredfold, so cost control is very important, and silicon-based GaN has a huge advantage in cost. As silicon-based GaN technology matures, it can achieve market breakthroughs with the greatest cost-effective advantage.

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