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Vertical interconnect accesses (VIAs) were fabricated between the source electrode on the front and the ground on the backside of high-power microwave AlGaN/GaN high-electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) on /spl sim/400-μm-thick silicon carbide substrates. Through-wafer microholes with an aspect ratio of up to /spl sim/ 8 were drilled using pulsed UV-laser machining and subsequently metallized using electroplating. The successful implementation of the laser-assisted VIA technology into device processing was proven by dc and RF characterization. When biased at 26 V, a saturated output power of 41.6 W with an associated power-added efficiency of 55% at 2 GHz was achieved for a 20-mm AlGaN/GaN HEMT with through-wafer VIAs.