Emerging High Power mm-Wave RF Transistors

The growing number of commercial and military wireless applications are generating a vast amount of RF signals and increasingly crowding the electromagnetic environment. Operating in a crowded and contested spectral environment, high dynamic range transistors are required in transmitting and receiving circuits. Over the past decades, RF power transistors have been implemented on the well-established planar device topology, in which it is difficult to attain high power with high efficiency at mm-wave frequency. The DARPA Dynamic Range-enhanced Electronics and Materials (DREaM) program is developing advanced high power and high dynamic range transistor technology with 4× higher output power density and 100× better linearity compared to state-of-the-art transistors today. The program explores novel wide bandgap materials. multi-channel epitaxy, and new device innovations such as FinFET-like compound semiconductor device structures. This paper will provide an overview of recent device demonstrations with significantly higher linearity and power density at 30 GHz.