Amplifier Technology Ltd. Shaves 50% From GaN Amplifier Design Time Using AWR's Microwave Office® Software
September 24, 2009
Gallium nitride (GaN) is increasingly the choice of defense system amplifier designers because of its inherently higher power density than silicon or GaAs and broadband capability. However, customers want amplifiers that fully exploit GaN's advantages in smaller and smaller packages. Faced with this challenge, Amplifier Technology Ltd. (ATL), of Yate, Bristol, UK, which designs and manufactures RF power amplifiers for jamming, communications, and radar systems, turned to AWR's Microwave Office software. The goal was to design a GaN HEMT-based power amplifier as a Commercial Off the Shelf (COTS) product that operates from 20 to 520 MHz with very high efficiency in the smallest possible footprint.
The design team relied on the seamless integration of the software's capabilities to produce an acceptable design in half the time typically required for such a complex task. The software's modeling capability enabled rapid exploration of a wide array of parameters in order to quickly settle on an optimum layout, and its accuracy minimized post-design work in creating the prototype. The result was an amplifier module that delivers 125 W of saturated power over its full bandwidth with 50% efficiency and gain of 52 dB, in a package measuring only 188 x 91.5 x 33 mm with only 9A typical current consumption.
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