Enabling GaN High Speed Devices: Microwave Meets Power Electronics - and vice versa

J. Würfl1, O. Hilt1, E. Bahat-Treidel1, P. Kurpas1, S.A. Chevchenko1, O. Bengtsson1, E. Ersoy1, A. Liero1, A. Wentzel1, W. Heinrich1, N. Badawi2, S. Dieckerhoff2

Published in:

Proc. 8th European Microwave Integrated Circuits Conf. (EuMIC 2013), Nuremberg, Germany, Oct. 6-8, pp. 176-179 (2013).

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GaN devices are getting highly mature in the field of microwave electronics covering power applications at frequencies ranging from a few 100 MHz to almost 100 GHz. This success is due to specific GaN material properties providing highly compact and therefore very fast devices. GaN material properties, consequently adopted for high voltage switching devices, have the potential to revolutionize general power electronics. Therefore, since about 10 years, considerable efforts have been devoted to GaN high voltage switching devices worldwide. Goals are more efficient power conversion systems and significantly increased conversion speeds of energy converters. This leads to ever decreasing system volumes and weights. Consequently, the economic perspectives of such devices are splendid. Higher energy conversion frequencies in combination with high voltage switching increasingly calls for microwave device and circuit design knowhow. Similarly, as microwave device switching speed also increases, concepts known from lower frequency power electronics are prone to be adopted for microwave applications. This paper compares microwave and power electronic GaN devices. Starting with a short summary of the respective design targets, basic technological features and typical design directions are discussed and set into relationship to each other

1 Ferdinand-Braun-Institut, Leibniz-Institut für Höchstfrequenztechnik, Gustav-Kirchhoff-Straße 4, 12489 Berlin, Germany
2 Technical University Berlin, Fachgebiet Leistungselektronik, TU Berlin, Einsteinufer 19, 10587 Berlin, Germany