Cree, Inc., a developer and manufacturer of semiconductor materials and devices, has introduced a range of new 50-V GaN HEMT devices enabling reduction in the energy needed to power cellular networks.
Leveraging this new Cree technology, radio base-station power amplifiers have demonstrated performance improvements of more than 20 percent over incumbent technology at 2.6 GHz operating under the latest 4G LTE signals, the company said.
This increased power amplifier efficiency could save an estimated 10 TWh per year, the equivalent power output of two nuclear power plants. While operational cost savings from increased efficiency can be significant, additional substantial savings are also possible in the acquisition cost of the system, the company added.
A higher-efficiency power amplifier can help OEMs save capital equipment costs through simplified cooling, and the higher-voltage GaN components can lower the cost of AC-to-DC and DC-to-DC converters. Overall, the impact on the total bill of materials can be as much as 10%.
Cree's 50-V GaN HEMT transistors operating at 100-W or 200-W output powers are now released for both the 1.8 2.2 GHz and 2.5 2.7 GHz frequency bands. The devices are internally matched for optimum performance, enabling wide instantaneous bandwidths. Cree 50-V GaN HEMT transistors are ideal for use in high-efficiency Doherty power amplifiers where power gains higher than 18 dB at 2.14 GHz and 16 dB at 2.6 GHz can be achieved respectively.
"We believe our 50-V GaN HEMT products can have a large impact in not only helping cellular network operators and OEMs reduce operational and capital expenses but also in helping to reduce global energy consumption," explains Jim Milligan, business director, Cree RF. "Several tier-one telecom OEMs have already incorporated lower-voltage versions of our technology to begin realizing these benefits. To date, even at an early stage of deployment, we estimate as much as 2,400 MWh of energy have already been saved as a result. This is an equivalent carbon offset of 1,400 metric tons of CO2 and represents the offset created by planting approximately 36,000 trees."