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 large forbidden-band width. It has superior properties compared to first-generation Si, and second-generation GaAs.
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 GaN device. This is good for improving the device's overall energy efficiency.
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 "toneality" of semiconductor industry.
GaN is the perfect material for 5G. It's also used in the power amplifier of base stations. Gallium nitride, gallium arsenide and indium-phosphide are common semiconductor materials used in radio frequency applications.
GaN devices have better frequency characteristics than other high-frequency technologies 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.
Gallium nitride can achieve higher power density than silicon or any other device. GaN has a higher energy density. GaN's small size is an advantage when it comes to a power level. Smaller devices can reduce device capacitance, making it easier to design higher bandwidth systems. Power Amplifiers (PA) are a critical component of the RF Circuit.
From a current application perspective, the power amplifier is mainly comprised of a galium arsenide amplifier and a complementary metallic oxide semiconductor poweramplifier (CMOSPA), where GaAs PA has the majority. However, with the advent 5G, GaAs will no longer be able to maintain high levels of integration at such high frequency.
GaN will be the next hot topic. GaN, as a wide-bandgap semiconductor, can withstand greater operating voltages. This results in higher power density. It also means higher operating temperatures.
Qualcomm President Cristiano Amon said at the Qualcomm 5G/4G Summit that the first 5G smartphones will debut during the first half and end of 2019 (Christmas and New Year). According to reports 5G is expected to be up to 100 times more efficient than 4G networks. It will reach Gigabits per second and reduce latency.
As well as the increase in the density and number of bases stations, there will be a large increase in RF devices. As a result, in comparison with the 3G/4G eras, 5G devices will have dozens or even hundreds of times the number of RF transceiver units. 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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