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This paper presents a study of the capability of gallium-nitride (GaN) high-electron mobility transistors (HEMTs) to achieve low noise and high linearity performance. A packaged GaN HEMT was measured in a 50 - Omega system at 2 GHz. Noise figures slightly above 1.8 dB were achieved together with a record third-order intercept point of 54 dBm. The same configuration yields a maximum output power of 30 W, with 50% power-added efficiency. This combination of high power and low-noise performance allows the realization of highly linear low-noise amplifiers, which could significantly reduce protection and filter efforts at receiver inputs.
Date of Publication: Sept. 2008