Microwave Semiconductor Tradeoffs

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Let's start with a Microwaves101 rule of thumb:

Microwave Semiconductor Tradeoffs Any microwave semiconductor house that doesn't invest in new technology, is going to go out of business in the long run. By long run, we mean five years.

At just about every meeting involving an empty suit, someone will ask "what's the difference between a SiGe HBT and a GaAs pHEMT MMIC?" Plenty! You can look like an expert and make your friends and enemies jealous of your knowledge if you study our pages carefully.

Attention MMIC and discrete semiconductor foundries... any one of these topics is fair game for you to sponsor on your own private Microwaves101 page! And we'll become your new best friend, we promise! Attention MMIC nerds! Contact us if you want to write about one of these topics, so we can speed up the process of making this into a more useful resource!

Here are the semiconductor technologies support microwave frequencies:

Click here to go to our page on antimonide-based compound semiconductors (ABCS)

Click here to go to our page on gallium arsenide semiconductors

Click here to go to our page on gallium nitride semiconductors

Click here to go to our page on indium phosphide semiconductors

Click here to go to our page on silicon semiconductors for microwaves

Click here to go to our page on LDMOS

For tons of information on material properties of all semiconductors, check out the Ioffe Institute's web site, if they don't have it, it hasn't been measured.

Horizontal or vertical?

Before we get too far into this subject, let's discuss the difference between vertical and horizontal semiconductors. HBTs (heterojunction bipolar transistors) and PIN diodes are vertical structures, each of the regions are grown in layers using some type of epitaxy. FETs (field effect transistors) of all kinds are horizontal structures. When we talk about vertical structures, where the "magic" takes place is referred to as the junction. For horizontal transistors (FETs) it's called the channel. So don't talk about the "junction temperature" of a HEMT (high electron mobility transistor, a type of FET), or you will sound like an idiot!

What's a compound semiconductor?

A compound semiconductor is one where the crystal lattice uses two or more types of atoms. This is the case of gallium arsenide, gallium nitride and silicon germanium.

Binary, ternary, or quaternary?

These terms refer to the number of elements in a crystal lattice. Many compound semi's are binary, like GaAs and SiGe. Some are ternary, like InGaAs.

Here's a reference to quaternary semiconductors, thanks to Tyler:

From Wikipedia:

AlGaInP is used in manufacture of light-emitting diodes of high-brightness red, orange, green, and yellow color, to form the heterostructure emitting light. It is also used to make diode lasers.”

Laser Diodes from the leading manufacturers can be found here.


Author : Unknown Editor