NEC Corporation, a leading telecom equipment maker based in Japan, has developed a power amplifier that will serve as a key device for mobile access and fronthaul / backhaul communication equipment for 5G Advanced and 6G networks.
This power amplifier uses GaAs technology and has achieved the world’s highest output power of 10 mW in the 150 GHz band.
5G Advanced and 6G are expected to deliver 100 Gbps speed, equivalent to 10 times the speed of current 5G. This can be effectively achieved through the use of the sub-terahertz band (100 to 300 GHz), which can provide a wide bandwidth of 10 GHz or more.
Early commercialization of the D band (130 to 174.8 GHz), which is internationally allocated for fixed wireless communications, is expected.
NEC’s power amplifier uses a 0.1-μm gallium arsenide (GaAs) pseudomorphic high electron mobility transistor (pHEMT) process. Compared to CMOS and silicon germanium (SiGe) used for the sub-terahertz band, GaAs pHEMTs have high operation voltage and lower initial costs for mass production.
NEC’s power amplifier eliminates factors that degrade performance in the high-frequency band and uses an impedance matching network configuration suitable for high output power. This has resulted in the achievement of frequency characteristics between 110 GHz and 150 GHz as well as the world’s highest output power for a GaAs pHEMT.