GaN-on-Si Ka-Band Single-Chip Front-End MMIC for Earth Observation Payloads

A Ka-band Single-Chip Front-End (SCFE) exploiting a 60 / 100-nm gate length GaN-on-Si industrial process is proposed in this contribution. Design solutions and preliminary test results are provided. In RX mode, a typical Noise Figure of 3.2 dB and gain better than 30 dB have been achieved. In TX mode, 35 dBm saturated output power and 16% PAE have been verified in CW operation. HPA bias point is chosen to increase reliability by minimizing the FET’s junction temperature. The reported RF performance spans from 32 to 36 GHz. The MMIC is targeted for Active Electronically Scanned Antenna applications in Earth Observation payloads. The whole chip occupies an area of 4.7 mm × 3.0 mm and, to the best of the Author’s knowledge, this GaN SCFE features the highest operating frequency reported in the open literature regarding integrated GaN/Si solutions and compares well with GaN/SiC MMICs especially considering CW test condition here reported and concurrently fulfilling the FET’s junction temperature requirement.