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Technology Now

Introduction to Technological/Product Trends in Mitsubishi Electric High-frequency/Optical Devices

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1.2 : High-output Amplifiers for Infrastructure Systems

Wireless infrastructure systems such as those that utilize satellites (Figure 1.6) require immense amounts of wireless power to transmit large capacities of information across long distances. As shown in Figure 1.7, Mitsubishi Electric is progressing in the development of devices to meet demands for higher output and higher efficiency. Notable here is the actualization of a high-voltage gallium-nitride (GaN) device that has contributed to smaller and lighter main channel satellite-mounted microwave repeaters, which until now were one type of vacuum tube, travelling wave tube amplifiers (TWTAs). This has made it easier to install multi-channel repeaters on satellites.

Fig. 1.6 High-output power amplifiers for satellite communications.

Fig. 1.7 Trend in the development of transistors for high-output power amplifiers.

*17 MESFET : Metal-Semiconductor Field Effect Transistor

1.3 : Low-noise Amplifiers

One feature of composite semiconductors is low-noise operation that enables weak signals to be amplified without noise. In particular, HEMT devices are utilized for the noiseless amplification of weak signals in the equipment that receive waves from satellites. Improvements to the device and package compositions such as miniaturizing the gate length have resulted in significantly enhanced performance, thereby contributing to smaller parabola antennas and smaller, less expensive receivers. Plans are to continue the pursuit of lower noise and higher frequencies.

Fig. 1.8 Trend in the development of transistors for low-noise amplifiers.

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