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In this work, a continuous nonlinear model for the I/sub ds/ current source in recessed gate pseudomorphic HEMT heterostructures is proposed. A careful characterization of the DC, pulsed, and small-signal nonlinear distortion behaviour of this predominant nonlinearity has been employed in order to extract the model parameters. Being able to reproduce the current-voltage (I-V) behaviour as well as the higher order derivatives of the transconductance and output conductance, the equation is valid for an accurate control of the critical nonlinear distortion phenomena in HEMT applications. Comparisons between measured and simulated results prove its validity under both static and dynamic conditions for either large- or small-signal operation.