HVVi Develops New Architecture for Silicon RF Power Transistor Design

HVVi Semiconductors, Inc., a developer of power transistors, announced the first major advance in silicon RF power transistor design in more than 15 years. Based on the world’s first High Frequency, High Voltage Vertical Field Effect Transistor (HVVFET(TM)), HVVi’s new architecture delivers frequency bandwidth, voltage and power levels to radar and avionic applications that far exceed the capabilities of current bipolar and LDMOS technologies. This revolutionary new patent-pending technology allows HVVi to achieve performance levels comparable to non-silicon technologies at much more attractive cost levels.

As part of its initial announcement, HVVi is also introducing its first three products based on this innovative new HVVFET architecture. Targeted at high power, pulsed RF applications in the L-band such as IFF, TCAS, TACAN and Mode-S, the three new devices leverage the inherent benefits of the HVVFET process to deliver high output power and high gain in an extremely compact package. All three transistors are designed to operate at 48V.

“While currently-used silicon RF transistor technologies such as bipolar and LDMOS have served radar and avionics designers well, they have hit a ceiling in terms of performance,” said Wil Salhuana, president and CEO. “By creating the first high frequency, high voltage vertical field effect transistor, we have redefined the performance capabilities of the discrete silicon power transistor and opened the door to a vast array of new applications.”

Major System Advantages
Indicative of the performance benefits of the new technology, HVVi’s first products offer radar and avionics system designers a 30 percent reduction in power consumption, a 100 percent increase in gain, and a tenfold increase in ruggedness. Those advantages translate directly into lower operating costs and the ability to support new applications. Moreover, the technology’s lower thermal resistance and higher ruggedness increase reliability and improve MTBF.

From a system’s perspective, HVVFET’s performance advantages in terms of gain, efficiency and power density offer designers a unique opportunity to eliminate amplification stages in Power Amplifiers (PAs), reduce parts count, and shrink PCB space requirements. At the same time, the technology’s higher rated ruggedness allows radar and avionics designers to eliminate bulky and costly isolators and, in the process, significantly reduce system weight, size and cost.

The HVVFET wafer process also offers tremendous advantages in terms of scalability. Its ability to support higher power levels with the same layout and design by simply increasing the size of the die will allow HVVi to support a wide range of applications. That simplicity of design will also allow the company to introduce new products in a very short 90-day cycle.

High-Performance for Avionics
The three products introduced today are targeted at commercial and military avionics and ground-based radar systems. All products operate over a wide range of supply voltages from 24V up to 48V. For pulsed applications in the L-band from 1030 to 1090 MHz, the HVV1011-300 operates at 48V, and delivers over 300W of pulsed output power while providing 15 dB of gain and 48 percent efficiency typical performance under pulsed signal conditions with a pulse width of 50 us and a pulse period of 1 ms. The vertical device structure used in the HVVFET architecture ensures high reliability and ruggedness. The device is specified to withstand a 20:1 VSWR at all phase angles under full rated output power.

The HVV1214-025 and HVV1214-100 are enhancement mode RF transistors for L-band pulsed radar applications in the 1.2 to 1.4 GHz frequency range. Both devices operate off a 48V supply and produce 25W and 100W respectively. Under test conditions that generate a pulse width of 200 uS and a pulse duty cycle of 10 percent, the HVV1214-025 offers 17.5 dB and the HVV1214-100 offers 19.5 dB of gain typical. Both transistors are capable of withstanding an output load mismatch corresponding to a 20:1 VSWR at rated output power and nominal operating voltage across the entire frequency band of operation.

Price and Availability
Evaluation kits and small-unit quantities are available now. The HVV1214-025 is housed in an innovative surface mount package and sells for $135.69 in 1-24 unit quantities. The HVV1214-100 and HVV1011-300 are housed in industry-standard flanged packages. The HVV1214-100 sells for $226.15 and the HVV1011-300 for $398.31 in 1-24 unit-quantities. Production volumes will be available in 3Q 2008. Orders may be placed with Richardson Electronics at www.rell.com/hvvi.asp or (1-800-737-6937).

About HVVi Semiconductors
HVVi Semiconductors Inc. is a developer and supplier of silicon power transistors for radar and avionics. The company develops new power solutions based on its innovative new High Frequency, High Voltage Vertical Field Transistor (HVVFET(TM)) architecture. Using this proprietary, silicon-based device architecture, HVVi Semiconductors Inc. is developing a new generation of power transistors that offer dramatic improvements in power output, frequency performance, and power efficiency. This new technology will allow OEMs in radar and avionics markets to improve system performance and reliability while reducing system and operating costs. HVVi Semiconductors, Inc. is headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona. The company’s investors include Mobius, Advanced Technology Ventures, Horizon Ventures and ON Semiconductor.

HVVFET is a trademark of HVVi Semiconductors.