Will GaN technology close the performance gap for 5G mmWave?

An article written by Gina Roos for EETIMES, in collaboration with Cyril Buey, Technology and market analyst for RF Devices and Technologies at Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group.

Yole Intelligence reports a lot of activity around GaN-on-silicon. “The company OMMIC is proposing GaN-on-Si beamformers for 5G mmWave, and this solution is expected to be seen penetrating the market in the coming years,” said Cyril Buey. “We also see the startup Finwave developing FinFET GaN-on-Si for mmWave technology, as well as STMicroelectronics and GlobalFoundries working on GaN-on-Si devices, so a lot of activities on GaN-on-Si.”

However, Yole is less optimistic about GaN-on-SiC devices for 5G mmWave. “Qorvo has a portfolio of GaN-on-SiC power amplifiers in mmWave frequencies, but for now, at Yole Intelligence, we don’t see 5G mmWave products using GaN-on-SiC devices,” he added.

Buey thinks there is room for GaN-on-Si for 5G mmWave applications but not for GaN-on SiC, mainly due to the high level of integration needed for mmWave devices. “In the end, GaN-on-SiC might be suitable for backhaul applications, also at mmWave frequencies, where the system architecture is simpler.”

…Read the full article.