What are Cryogenic Amplifiers?

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- everything RF

Nov 23, 2017

Cryogenic Amplifiers are those that can operate at very low temperatures. Temperatures are considered to be Cryogenic when they are below -180 °C or 93.15 K or -292.00 °F. Typical applications for these devices include radio astronomy, quantum computers, satellite earth stations, radiometers and electron spin resonance measurement systems.

everything RF has developed the largest database of Cryogenic Amplifiers. Click here to see a list of Cryogenic Amplifiers from the leading manufacturers.

Jul 16, 2021

Cryogenic Amplifiers are a subset of standard Low Noise RF/Microwave amplifiers (LNAs) that are used when Ultra Low Noise is required with very little power dissipation. The much lower Noise Figure, or Noise Temperature, is required where signal integrity is absolutely crucial, such as when transmitting analog data and where signal quality is top priority. 

The enhanced performance is provided by keeping the amplifier in a very low temperature environment (anywhere from 77K to 4K). The low power dissipation is important because higher power consumption means more heat dissipation and, as much as heat is always the enemy in any Low Noise applications, it’s especially true for Cryogenic LNAs because the environments in which Cryogenic Amplifiers are used must be actively maintained at low temperatures to achieve ideal results. Liquid Nitrogen and Liquid Helium based cooling systems are frequently used to keep Cryo LNAs at a certain temperature level. The temperature changes in going back and forth from a Room Temperature or warmer environment to below zero require the amplifiers to be of especially robust design with the most thermally efficient components possible. It should be noted that it’s not simply as easy as cooling any LNA to a very low temperature to achieve Noise Temperatures as low as 1K. The basic LNA design has to already be made for extremely low noise output while amplifying the input signal. Therefore, only the manufacturers of extremely low noise amplifiers can ever hope to produce Cryogenic Amplifiers that perform well enough for critical applications.

Cryogenic Amplifiers are most applicable when the quality and integrity of the amplified signal are absolutely crucial. Such applications include cellular communications, wireless data and virtually all other forms of telecommunications where signal reliability and quality have the utmost priority in the private, military and space sectors. A relatively new application for Low Temperature Technology (LTT), of which Cryogenic Amplifiers are a big part, is Quantum Processing or Quantum Computing.

To this end, AmpliTech’s history of offering amplifiers with the lowest noise figures in the industry since the company was founded in 2004 is just as crucial as the additional design experience required to adapt LNA designs for use in Low Temperature environments. Fortunately, AmpliTech has excelled for years in the latter as well. Click here to view Cryogenic amplifiers from Amplitech.

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