With the recent increase in data transmission volume, higher output power is required of the semiconductor power amplifying elements used in radio base stations for mobile phones and satellite communications. Such higher-power amplifying elements are also in increasing demand for weather radars to forecast guerrilla-type rainstorms and other weather disasters more reliably.
Compared with a conventional gallium arsenide field effect transistor (GaAs FET), a gallium nitride high electron mobility transistor (GaN HEMT) can operate at a higher voltage and higher temperature. Hence, the GaN HEMT does not need cooling parts and reduces the size of the amplifier while increasing its output power. Owing to these advantages, the number of GaN HEMTs used in the above-described fields is increasing rapidly.
Sumitomo Electric supplies high-power GaN HEMTs for use in mobile base stations and S-band*1 radars, and enjoys a high market share. Using the technology for high-power GaN HEMTs, the Company has developed an internally-matched, high-power GaN HEMT that can operate in higher frequency bands (C-band*2, X-band*3, and Ku-band*4), and released the new GaN HEMT.