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GaN-HEMT VSWR Ruggedness and Amplifier Protection

Author: Bengtsson, O. · Bent, G. van der · Rudolph, M. · Würfl, J. · Heijningen, M. van · Vliet, F.E. van
Publisher: ESTEC
Place: Noordwijk
Source:Microwave Technology and Techniques Workshop 2010, 10-12 May 2010, Noordwijk, The Netherlands
Identifier: 462569
Keywords: Physics · Robust design · GaN devices · RF performance


This paper presents the initial results in a study aimed at exploring the use of GaN-devices in applications where they are at risk of being exposed to high output voltage-standing-wave-ratio (VSWR) conditions. A measurement method developed to identify the limits of such stress is described together with the first results from measurements of novel FBH GaN-HEMT technology. Furthermore a circuit design aimed at preventing excessive operation under high output VSWR conditions is presented. The first findings suggest that the investigated devices are very robust to VSWR stress and the suggested protection circuit with a power-down cycle in the 100 ns range is sufficient to ensure a long lifetime with little degradation of RF performance.