Nitronex Awarded Phase I SBIR from Nasa to Research X- and Ka- Band GaN Power Amplifiers

Nitronex wins additional X/Ka-Band funding

DURHAM, NC - Nitronex, a leader in the design and manufacture of gallium nitride (GaN) based RF solutions for high performance applications in the defense, communications, cable TV, and industrial & scientific markets, has been awarded a Phase I SBIR to develop a highly efficient 20W X-band GaN power amplifier MMIC for use in long range RF telecommunications. Since 2005, Nitronex has won 16 government contract awards that have funded the development of materials, devices, discretes, MMICs, and process technologies, as well as manufacturing maturation. This is the third X- or Ka- Band contract awarded to Nitronex, further enhancing Nitronex's state-of-the-art GaN-on-Si power amplifier technology.

GaN has much higher power density than incumbent gallium arsenide (GaAs) technologies, allowing MMIC designers to achieve higher output power and higher system efficiency. This allows system engineers to increase transmit power and reduce associated thermal and power management overhead, lowering size, weight, and power consumption (SWAP).

Nitronex's GaN-on-Si technology has several performance advantages over competing GaN-on-SiC offerings. GaN-on-Si HEMTs have industry-leading thermal performance using 2mil thick substrates, which have very low thru-wafer source inductance. GaN-on-SiC-based HEMTs have optimum thermal performance with substrates around 4mil thick, resulting in higher thru-wafer source inductance, reducing amplifier gain. Silicon substrates can use thermally superior gold-silicon (AuSi) die attach rather than other methods required by non-Si substrates. Nitronex uses industry standard ultra-low loss semi-insulating Si substrates having 0.05dB/mm loss at 10GHz for a 50ohm transmission line, similar to that of GaAs, which is used to frequencies significantly higher than even Ka band. Reuse of the Si industry's mature supply chain results in manufacturing and cost advantages versus SiC-based technology.

"GaN-on-Si has inherent performance, reliability, manufacturing and cost advantages, especially when used for MMICs, which have large die sizes. We believe GaN-on-Si is an enabling technology for high-performance, high-reliability, and costeffective MMIC products." said Ray Crampton, VP of Engineering. "Leveraging our standard NRF1 production-qualified process with over 650,000 production devices shipped, our 0.25 micron gate process platform has no known limitations compared to competing GaN technologies for X- and Ka- band applications."

About Nitronex

Nitronex Corporation is an innovative leader in the design and manufacture of gallium nitride (GaN) based RF solutions. Nitronex is the pioneer in developing high performance gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) semiconductor solutions using its proprietary SIGANTIC® manufacturing process. Nitronex products enable high performance applications in the defense, communications, cable TV, and industrial & scientific markets. An ISO-9001 certified manufacturer, Nitronex was founded in 1999 and is headquartered in Durham, NC. Nitronex has been awarded 24 patents with 15 others pending. For more information, please visit the Nitronex web site at

Nitronex Corporation

2305 Presidential Drive, Durham, NC 27703 USA


Telephone: 919-807-9100

Fax: 919-807-9200

For more information, contact:

Gary Blackington

Vice President, Worldwide Sales & Marketing


Kara Harmon

Inside Sales & Marketing Manager


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