An Objective Review of GaN, LDMOS, and GaAs in the Modern World of Wireless Communications

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  • Author: Anthony Combs, MSEE

Anyone having anything to do with the RF industry in the last 10-15 years is undoubtedly  aware of the existence of gallium nitride (GaN) and its gradual introduction to the market. Countless technical papers, application notes, blogs, and vlogs have been dedicated to touting GaN’s superiority over its Si- and GaAs-based competitors. Separating fact from fiction, it is critical to understand the differences between these technologies so their advantages (and disadvantages) for any given application can be best understood.

GaN is widely considered a breakthrough technology due to its substantial improvements in high power density and reliability. As an early adopter of GaN, NuWaves Engineering is a forward-thinking company keen on the latest in state-of-the-art RF power amplifier (PA) technologies. This application note serves to provide an overview on the pros and cons of GaN and competitive alternates for RF/microwave applications.

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