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  7. Fujitsu Develops Compact, High-Output Millimeter-Wave Transceiver Module Technology Using GaN HEMT

Fujitsu Develops Compact, High-Output Millimeter-Wave Transceiver Module Technology Using GaN HEMT

Integrates multiple chips within a single unit to enable more compact radars and wireless communications equipment

Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.

Kawasaki, Japan, June 04, 2013

Fujitsu Laboratories Limited today announced the development of a gallium-nitride(1)HEMT(2)-based transceiver module technology that features an output of 10 W and operates at frequencies up to the millimeter-wave(3) band.

Until now, developing high-output modules that operate in the millimeter-wave band has required modules consisting of separately packaged components to allow for sufficient heat dissipation. As a result, it has been difficult to produce compact modules. In addition, because the occurrence of signal loss tends to increase in internal module terminal connector components at higher frequencies, reaching millimeter-wave operations has proved to be challenging.

The new high-output millimeter-wave transceiver module developed by Fujitsu Laboratories uses a heat sink embedded with multilayer ceramic technology capable of efficiently dissipating heat. Through its unique architecture that reduces signal loss occurring in internal terminal connector components, the transceiver module can achieve millimeter-wave operations. With dimensions of 12 mm × 36 mm × 3.3 mm, the new module measures less than 1/20 the size of conventional combined unit.

Using the new technology, it is possible to combine multiple chips within a single unit, thereby enabling the development of more compact radar devices and wireless communications equipment.

Details of the new technology will be presented at the IEEE MTT 2013 International Microwave Symposium (IMS2013), to be held beginning June 2nd in Seattle, Washington.

GaN HEMT

Gallium nitride (GaN) is used as a material in blue LEDs. Compared to the conventional semiconductor materials of silicon (Si) and gallium arsenide (GaAs), GaN features a high electron transfer rate and relative resistance to the breakdown caused by voltage. Given these characteristics, GaN HEMTs—or transistors that use GaN—show promise for high-output, exceptionally efficient operations.

Background

In line with the advancement of a network-based society, radio wave demand in a variety of wireless systems is expected to increase even further. For example, in the field of smartphones and other wireless communications, there is a shortage of available frequencies. Using millimeter waves to accommodate this increase in demand is being given consideration. Likewise, aircraft currently employ the 10 GHz frequency band, but a move toward usage of higher frequencies is expected to take place in the future.

Current generations of high-output millimeter-wave transceiver modules consist of separately packaged transmitter and receiver components. Being able to integrate both functions in a single unit, however, will enable equipment to become more compact.

Figure 1: Usage scenarios for the millimeter-wave bandFigure 1: Usage scenarios for the millimeter-wave band

Technical Issues

Transceiver modules, needed for millimeter-wave communications and radar, must possess wideband capabilities for operating in the millimeter-wave band, as well as high-output performance sufficient enough to cover wide geographic areas. When developing a transceiver module with 10 W-class high-output power, it is critical to improve the transceiver module's heat dissipation characteristics, as heat generation intensifies in tandem with higher output levels.

Moreover, it is also necessary to reduce signal loss in connector components. This is because, at higher frequencies, loss increases in the components connecting the chip and the wiring that transmits a signal.

Newly Developed Technology

Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a compact, high-output transceiver module that uses GaN-HEMT and operates in the millimeter-wave band. The key features of the technology are as follows:

1. Improved heat dissipation with a new heat sink structure

Fujitsu Laboratories developed an embedded heat sink structure that efficiently dissipates the heat generated at high output levels. The heat sink is built into the transceiver module's multilayer ceramic substrate. Compared to previous designs, heat dissipation improved by a factor of five times, enabling 10 W-class output levels.

2. Lower signal losses in the signal input/output connector components

Fujitsu Laboratories devised a wideband connector structure that reduces loss at higher frequencies in the heat sink. With the new connector structure, high frequency signals passing through the module can be transmitted at up to 40 GHz, two times the frequency levels of previous designs.

Using the newly developed technology, it was possible to shrink the size of the millimeter-wave transceiver module to 12 mm × 36 mm × 3.3 mm, measuring less than 1/20 the size of previous combined unit configurations.

Figure 2: Diagram of the millimeter-wave GaN transceiver moduleFigure 2: Diagram of the millimeter-wave GaN transceiver module

Figure 3: Photo and structure of the millimeter-wave GaN transceiver moduleFigure 3: Photo and structure of the millimeter-wave GaN transceiver module

Results

This new technology will make it possible to achieve high-output transceiver functionality with a single unit, thereby leading to improved performance and more compact and lighter equipment for wideband communications and radar systems.

Future Developments

Fujitsu Laboratories plans to put this technology to use in a wide range of applications that require compact modules with high output across wide bandwidths, including wireless devices and radar systems.


  • [1] Gallium-nitride (GaN)

    GaN-based semiconductors are wide bandgap semiconductors that feature a higher breakdown-voltage (threshold) than conventional semiconductor materials, such as silicon (Si) or gallium-arsenide (GaAs).

  • [2] High-electron mobility transistor (HEMT)

    A field-effect transistor that takes advantage of operation of the electron layer at the boundary between different semiconductor materials that is relatively rapid compared to that within conventional semiconductors. Fujitsu led the industry with its development of the HEMT in 1980, and the technology now underpins much of today's fundamental IT infrastructure, including satellite transceivers, wireless equipment, GPS-based navigation systems, and broadband wireless networking systems.

  • [3] Millimeter-wave band

    Name for the radio band between 30 to 300 GHz. Used for high-capacity wireless communications, automobile radar, and other applications.

About Fujitsu

Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.4 trillion yen (US$47 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.

About Fujitsu Laboratories

Founded in 1968 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited, Fujitsu Laboratories Limited is one of the premier research centers in the world. With a global network of laboratories in Japan, China, the United States and Europe, the organization conducts a wide range of basic and applied research in the areas of Next-generation Services, Computer Servers, Networks, Electronic Devices and Advanced Materials. For more information, please see: http://jp.fujitsu.com/labs/en.

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E-mail: E-mail: gan-hemt-press@ml.labs.fujitsu.com
Company:Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd.


All company or product names mentioned herein are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners. Information provided in this press release is accurate at time of publication and is subject to change without advance notice.

This press release has been revised as of December 17, 2018.

Date: 04 June, 2013
City: Kawasaki, Japan
Company: Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd., , , , , , , , , ,

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