Why Are People Optimistic About GaN Gallium Nitride Application in 5G
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GaN is a semiconductor material of third-generation with a wide forbidden-band width and better characteristics than the GaAs or Si materials of first-generation.
GaN devices, due to their high thermal conductivity and large band gaps, can operate at temperatures over 200 degC. This allows them to carry higher energy densities and greater reliability. A larger forbidden band and dielectric break-down electric field can reduce the on resistance of the device. This is good for improving the overall efficiency of the product.
GaN semiconductors can therefore be designed to have a higher bandwidth, a higher amplifier gain and efficiencies, as well as smaller dimensions, all in keeping with the "tone" of the industry.
The base station power amplifier also uses GaN. Gallium nitride, gallium arsenide and indium-phosphide are common semiconductor materials used in radio frequency applications.
GaN has better frequencies than other high-frequency devices such as indium phosphide and gallium arsenide. GaN devices must have a higher instantaneous bandwith. This can be achieved by using carrier aggregation, preparing higher frequency carriers and using carrier aggregation.
GaN can achieve higher power density than silicon. GaN has a higher energy density. GaN's small size is an advantage when it comes to achieving a particular power level. Smaller devices can reduce device capacitance, allowing for the design of systems with a higher bandwidth. Power Amplifiers (PA) are a critical component of the RF Circuit.
Currently, power amplifiers are mainly comprised of a gallium-arsenide power amplifier and a complementary metallic oxide semiconductor power amplifier (CMOS PA), where GaAs PA has been the standard. But with 5G coming, GaAs devices won't be able maintain high integration in such high frequencies.
GaN will be the next hot topic. GaN, as a wide-bandgap semiconductor, can withstand greater operating voltages. This results in higher power densities and higher temperatures, leading to high power density.
Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon said at the Qualcomm 5G/4G Summit that the first 5G smartphones will be available in the second half of 2019, and by the end Christmas and New Year. 5G is said to be 100 to 1000 times faster than the current 4G network, and will reach Gigabits per second.
As well as the increase in the number and density of base stations, there will be a significant increase in the number and density of RF devices. As a result, in comparison with the 3G/4G eras, 5G devices will have a dozens or even hundreds of times greater density. Therefore, cost control and silicon-based GaN technology has a large cost advantage. It is possible to achieve a market breakthrough using silicon-based GaN technologies.
Commercialization of any new semiconductor technology is difficult, and this can be seen in the evolution of the last two generations. GaN, which is also in this stage at the moment, will cost more to civilians because of the increased demand for silicon-based devices, the mass production and process innovations, etc.
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