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We report on reflective electro-optic sampling measurements of terahertz emission from nanometer-gate-length InGaAs-based high electron mobility transistors. The room temperature coherent gate-voltage tunable emission is demonstrated. We establish that the physical mechanism of the coherent terahertz emission is related to the plasma waves driven by simultaneous current and optical excitation. A significant shift of the plasma frequency and the narrowing of the emission with increasing channel’s current are observed and explained as due to the increase in the carriers’ density and drift velocity.