Freescale Introduces Its First GaN RF Product for Cellular Infrastructure Applications
CompoundSemi News Staff
June 11, 2012...Freescale Semiconductor of Austin, Texas USA, revealed its first RF power amplifier product based on gallium nitride (GaN) technology. The company's RF power GaN products will initially target the cellular infrastructure market. Other potential future applications including avionics, radar, ISM and software-defined radio. While the company has numerous GaAs-based power products, and some high frequency silicon germanium (SiGe) technology for very high frequency of 100 GHz and beyond, the AFG25HW355S is the company's first GaN-based RF power amplifier.
The AFG25HW355S is a 350W, high-performance-in-package (HiP), 2:1 asymmetric device is for the 2.3 GHz-2.7 GHz range. It has 56 dBm peak power, 50 percent efficiency, 16 dB gain and NI-780 packaging.
"Freescale's GaN RF power solutions underscore our technology-agnostic approach to the RF power market," said Ritu Favre, vice president and general manager of Freescale's RF Division. "Working with GaN in development since the mid-2000s, we have established an ideal blend of cost-efficiency, performance and reliability, and the time is now right to add GaN-based products to our broad array of RF power amplifier solutions."
Freescale says that AFG25HW355S will be available soon to select customers in sample quantities, with full qualification and volume shipping planned by Q2 2013.
First Solar and Intermolecular Announce Collaboration and Licensing Agreement
CompoundSemi News Staff
June 11, 2012...First Solar, Inc. and Intermolecular, Inc. announced a collaboration and licensing agreement aimed at accelerating the efficiency roadmap for First Solar's cadmium-telluride (CdTe) photovoltaic (PV) technology. First Solar, a thin film PV solar module manufacturer and supplier of PV thin film PV utility-scale solar power plants.
Under a newly signed collaborative development program, First Solar will leverage Intermolecular's High Productivity Combinatorial (HPC) platform in in developing its CdTe-based, thin film PV manufacturing technology. According to Intermolecular, the program addresses new opportunities in certain critical materials and processes that may significantly influence the conversion efficiency of CdTe technology. Technical work is to be performed jointly at Intermolecular's San Jose, California, facility and in First Solar's research and development labs.
Raffi Garabedian, First Solar CTO commented, "Further improving our world-record CdTe conversion efficiencies remains a strong lever to reduce the cost of solar energy. We evaluated Intermolecular's HPC platform and technical team in a trial collaboration, and this experience confirmed the suitability of the platform for our purposes."
First Solar set a new world record for CdTe PV solar module efficiency in January 2012, achieving 14.4 percent total area efficiency. In July 2011, the company set a world record for CdTe PV cell efficiency at 17.3 percent. Both records were confirmed by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL).
Intermolecular claims that its HPC platform allows R&D experimentation to be performed at speeds up to 100 times faster than traditional methods.
A*Star Institute of Microelectronics to Collaborate with Rolls-Royce on Power Electronics Development
CompoundSemi News Staff
June 11, 2012...A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics (IME) announces a collaboration with Rolls-Royce, the global power systems company, for the research and development of advanced power electronics devices. The Institute of Microelectronics (IME) is a research institute of the Science and Engineering Research Council of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Sinapore.
The research collaboration plans to use gallium nitrite (GaN) power technology in the development of high-power-density converters that can reliably measure various physical parameters at temperatures of up to 300°C and at environmental pressure of up to 30kpsi.
This collaboration will be delivered through IME’s Rugged Electronics program, which was set up to support Singapore’s drive to become a technology hub for the aerospace, oil and gas sectors. The focus of IME’s Rugged Electronics program is to develop a wide range of solutions from sensing, packaging, telemetry, non-volatile memory to integrated circuits
“This collaboration leverages IME’s established competence and enables us to extend our research to innovate in new industries,” commented Professor Dim-Lee Kwong, Executive Director of IME. “More importantly, this strategic partnership offers an excellent opportunity for Singapore to build knowledge in this industry and move further up the value chain.”
June 7, 2012...Veeco Instruments Inc. of Plainview, New York USA, reports having introduced a new suit of TurboDisc® metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) systems for the production of high brightness LEDs.
The suite includes the TurboDisc MaxBright® M™, TurboDisc MaxBright MHP™ and TurboDisc K465i HP™.
The MaxBright M is a modular and more compact version of Veeco’s multi-reactor system. The company says that the MaxBright M provides easier serviceability and up to 15% improved footprint efficiency compared to MaxBright. Veeco says it also features improved layout configuration flexibility to accommodate various fab spacing requirements. Content continues for LIGHTimes SecondPage members...
Cree Releases X-Band GaN HEMTs for Radar and Satellite Applications
CompoundSemi News Staff
June 4, 2012...Cree, Inc. of Durham, North Carolina USA, has released its X-Band, fully matched GaN HEMT transistors for commercial radar and satellite communications applications. The new GaN high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) are rated at 50W and 100W. Cree claims that the GaN devices provide “game- changing” efficiency and performance improvements when compared to existing GaAs MESFET transistors or traveling wave tube (TWT) based amplifiers. Cree asserts that the efficiency advantages in using these new GaN devices can be up to three times greater when compared to available GaAs MESFET transistors. Further, the wide video bandwidth of GaN HEMT transistors allows for their use in multi-carrier applications with two-tone spacing up to 70MHz.
Jim Milligan, director, RF and microwave commented, “We believe this new product family will deliver comprehensive system benefits, including superior thermal management and significantly-reduced power supply loads. The new product family also offers a lower cost alternative to TWT amplifiers and associated high-voltage power supplies and linearization systems while improving overall system reliability.”
The X-Band product family consists of four new GaN HEMT transistors; two for satellite communications (CGHV96050F1 and CGH96100F1) and two for commercial radar applications (CGHV96050F2 and CGHV96100F2). All four transistors are offered in a small footprint (0.9 x 0.7”) package. The fully matched GaN HEMT transistors complement two previously released packaged MMICs, designated the CMPA5585025F and CMPA801B025F, which can also be used as drivers for the CGHV96050 or CGHV96100.
China’s Sinoepi to Produce Nitride LED Wafers with a Aixtron CRIUS II-L System
LIGHTimes News Staff
June 5, 2012...Aixtron SE announced that a new customer, Sinoepi, a manufacturer of wafer materials in China, has placed an order for one CRIUS II-L MOCVD system in a 69x2-inch wafer configuration. The system will be used for the production of epitaxial wafers for ultra-high brightness (UHB) gallium nitride (GaN) based LEDs. Aixtron says that Sinoepi ordered in the fourth quarter of 2011, and the system was delivered during the second quarter of 2012. Aixtron´s local service support team will install and commission the CRIUS II-L at the Sinoepi production complex located in Beijing.
“Although this is our first new piece of equipment from Aixtron, my team is already very familiar with CRIUS technology,” said Mr. Ye, General Manager of Sinoepi. “We are particularly impressed with its high performance-to-cost ratio compared to other systems, as well as the seamless and short process transfer. CCS technology is well established around the world due to its outstanding reputation for producing superior performance LEDs. The CRIUS® II-L matches our requirements for very high throughput epitaxial growth of nitride-based wafer materials excellently. It will enable us to develop our processes quickly and efficiently.”
Konarka Files for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy Protection
CompoundSemi News Staff
June 4, 2012...Konarka Technologies Inc., of Lowell Massachusetts USA, a company developing thin-film solar panels, said it has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. Chapter 7 bankruptcy requires that a company's operations cease, and a trustee must liquidate the company’s assets for the benefit of creditors.
In a statement issued Friday, Konarka chairman, president, and CEO Howard Berke said, “Konarka has been unable to obtain additional financing, and given its current financial condition, it is unable to continue operations. This is a tragedy for Konarka’s shareholders and employees and for the development of alternative energy in the United States.”
Berke noted that Kanarka “had not entirely given up hope that a rescue financing or acquisition would emerge in the bankruptcy." He said that that several large international companies had expressed interest in financing or acquiring the company. The company's press released noted however that under Chapter 7 proceedings any such transactions are evaluated by a trustee and not by the company itself.
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