Overview and Challenges of Modeling Microwave and mm-Wave GaN HEMT Technologies

This presentation will review state-of-the-art GaN HEMT compact models and modeling approaches to support the wide range of microwave and mm-wave monolithic integrated circuits (ICs) being developed for military and commercial systems. Applications include high-power amplifiers (including narrow-band reactively matched, wide-band distributed, and wide-band cascode topologies), high dynamic range low-noise amplifiers, high-power switches, phase shifters, mixers, and fully integrated transmit/receive ICs that may also include automatic bias control and external logic control. Modeling challenges include traditional FET geometry and temperature requirements as well as the need for physically-based statistical simulation support. Present day GaN HEMT technologies also exhibit significant non-thermal (charge trapping) and thermal dispersive effects that must be modeled in an efficient and robust manner as a function of quiescent bias and drive level to provide the most accurate and scalable compact models with the best circuit simulation convergence properties. Ideally, a single base compact model formulation can support the wide range of applications and use conditions in a physically meaningful way. A range of proprietary and industry standard models and modeling approaches will be reviewed against these diverse requirements.