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Power amplifiers for cellular base stations represent a major commercial market opportunity for GaAs, SiC and GaN FET devices. As carriers upgrade their networks to 3G services in the coming years, it is expected that the market for base station power amplifiers will grow to well over Θ/year. These amplifiers typically produce 20- 80 W of RF power, have exacting linearity requirements and extreme price sensitivity. Compound semiconductor devices have a clear potential performance advantage over silicon LDMOS devices for this application, but today LDMOS remains the "technology-of choice" for most base stations. This paper will summarize the commercial market, system requirements, linearization techniques, and technology choices for 3G base stations.
Date of Conference: 30 Oct.-2 Nov. 2005