Mitsubishi Electric develops World’s highest power-added efficiency GaN HEMT power amplifier for C-band satellites

Mitsubishi Electric has developed a gallium nitride high-electron mobility transistor (GaN HEMT) power amplifier for C-band satellites featuring the world’s highest power-added efficiency (PAE) rating, 67%, an increase of more than seven points compared to conventional amplifiers. The amplifier is expected to lead to smaller and lighter transmitter devices to help microwave communication satellites save power. Conventional transponder devices use traveling wave tube amplifiers (TWTAs) because solid-state power amplifiers with GaAs HEMTs, which lack sufficient output power and efficiency, require an additional amplifier to gain high output power.

More efficient GaN HEMT amplifiers with high output power, high-field electron velocity and high-breakdown fields are expected to replace TWTAs in communication satellites. Mitsubishi Electric will present its breakthrough at the International Microwave Symposium for 2011 (IMS 2011) at the Baltimore Convention Center in the U.S. city of Baltimore, Maryland from June 5-10.