A high-power single-pole double throw (SPDT) switch IC using AlGaN/GaN heterojunction field-effect transistors (HFETs) is demonstrated for the first time. The reduction of on-resistance (Ron) and off-capacitance (Coff) for AlGaN/GaN HFETs enables the GaN-based switch IC that can be applied for practical RF applications. A novel Si-doping technique is employed to reduce ohmic contact resistance, which successfully reduces the Ron. The Coff of the HFETs on a sapphire substrate is found to be smaller than that on a SiC substrate, together with low cost fabrication. The GaN-based SPDT switch IC with single-stage configuration is designed by using a circuit simulator based on the extracted device parameters. The fabricated SPDT switch IC achieves insertion loss of 0.26 dB and isolation of 27 dB at 1 GHz, as well as an extremely high-power handling capability of 43 W. This value is 10 times higher than that of typical GaAs-based switch ICs. In addition, the switch IC exhibits low distortion characteristics, where the third-order intercept point of 41 dBm is achieved. The chip size is reduced to 40% as compared with conventional four stage GaAs-based switch ICs by using the single-stage circuit configuration.
- Field-effect transistors (FETs)
- High power