Gallium Nitride (GaN)

Gallium Nitride (GaN)

Gallium Nitride is emerging as a leading technology for high power, high frequency semiconductor applications. Gallium Nitride exhibits several characteristics that approach the performance of an ideal semiconductor substrate:

  • High breakdown voltage
  • High power density
  • High frequency operation
  • High Efficiency
  • Good thermal conductivity properties

Though there are several competing technologis that can match some of the capabilities of Gallium Nitride (GaN), GaN has several advantages over legacy RF technologies:

  1. High Breakdown Voltage
  2. Enhances Carrier Density and Saturation Velocity
  3. Enables Higher operating Junction Temperatures

Further, since most GaN is Grown on semi-insulating substrates, parasitic losses are diminished, compared with other technologies. the result? High power density and high power output over a wide bandwidth and improved performance for a variety of applications.


There has been much debate in the industry about the use of LDMOS versus GaN for high power applications. while LDMOS dose have a manufacturability advantage (LDMOS is fabricated on silicon wafers), the performance of LDMOS cannot match that of GaN. A comparison table is shown below.

GaN vs LDMOS Comparison

Processing Bespoke fab Standard CMOS
Wafer Diameter 3-6 Inches (SiC) 8 Inches (Si)
Max Frequency >12 GHz 3.8 GHz
Band gap 3.4 eV 1.1 eV
Max Temperature 250 °C 225 °C
Johnson FoM 324 1
Mask Count 13 22
Electron Velocity - Saturated 1.5 x 105m/s 1 x 105m/s
Electron Velocity - Peak 2.7 x 105m/s 1 x 105m/s
Breakdown Field 300 V/um 25 V/um
typ BVds 175 V 75 V


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