200mm Semi-Insulating SiC Substrates for RF Power Amplifiers in 5G Antennas

October 11, 2019 by Paul Shepard

II‐VI Incorporated (IIVI) has introduced the world’s first prototype 200mm diameter semi-insulating silicon carbide (SiC) substrates for RF power amplifiers in 5G wireless base-station antennas and other high-performance RF applications.

The deployment of 5G wireless is expected to accelerate globally, driving the demand for RF power amplifiers that can operate efficiently in new high-frequency bands and be manufactured on a technology platform that can scale to meet the demand.

Gallium nitride-on-silicon carbide (GaN-on-SiC) RF power amplifiers have superior performance, compared with devices based on silicon, over a wide spectrum of 5G operating frequencies in the GHz range, including in the millimeter-wave bands. II-VI’s prototype 200mm semi-insulating SiC substrates are enabling GaN-on-SiC RF power amplifiers, currently produced on 100mm and 150mm substrates, to reach the next level in manufacturing scale.

“II-VI is introducing the world’s first 200mm semi-insulating SiC substrates after introducing in 2015 the world’s first 200mm conductive SiC substrates for power electronics, two milestones on our roadmap to 300mm,” said Dr. Gary Ruland, Vice President, Wide Bandgap Semiconductors Business Unit.

“In areas of high bandwidth demand, 5G antennas with beamforming technology are expected to be densely deployed, increasing the demand for GaN-on-SiC power amplifiers by approximately an order of magnitude or more.

“II-VI is once again advancing the state of the art in SiC substrates, with a strong technology portfolio of 30 active patents using highly differentiated and proprietary manufacturing platforms and technologies including crystal growth, substrate fabrication, and polishing. The evolution of semi-insulating SiC substrates to 200mm will enable the RF power amplifier market to continue to scale, increasingly replace functions performed by devices based on silicon, and enable new applications,” Dr. Ruland concluded.