Cree, Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) introduces a new family of high power GaN RF transistors based on an innovative plastic package design, which leverages the superior RF performance of GaN in a low-cost platform. Initial products include the industry’s first 300W plastic packaged transistor operating at 2.7 GHz, delivering unparalleled P sat efficiency of 65 percent and broadband capability at nearly half the price of the same GaN transistor housed in an industry-standard ceramic package. Scalable to high power levels and capable of operating in all cellular telecom bands up to 3.8 GHz, the new GaN transistors are expected to enable the deployment of smaller, lower-cost macrocell radio units capable of supporting the growing data demands of today’s cellular LTE networks.
“The RF transistor market for wireless telecom infrastructure is approaching $1 billion annually,” said Lance Wilson, research director, ABI Research. “Silicon LDMOS has been the dominant technology for the past 20 years but recently GaN RF power devices have captured meaningful market share based on performance; however, acceptance has been limited thus far due to its higher cost. Cree’s newest family of high power plastic products will drive down the cost of GaN transistors to a point that is nearing Si LDMOS levels and will accelerate broader adoption in telecom applications. This will make GaN transistors a principal choice for next-generation wireless networks.”
The new broadband GaN transistors from Cree have the flexibility to operate across multiple cellular bands, helping network operators deploy carrier aggregation solutions that join different bands of spectrum and create larger data pipes to support faster download speeds and enable additional network capacity. Cellular base station OEMs can also leverage this flexibility to speed their time to market by addressing market requirements with fewer band-specific amplifiers.
Additionally, Cree’s proven GaN technology provides unrivaled efficiency that improves a system’s thermal design and reduces cost. More efficient solutions allow for smaller and lighter radio units, which alleviates loading on already overcrowded cellular towers. Increased efficiency also creates significant savings on utility costs necessary to run the networks.