WEST CALDWELL, N.J., March 31 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Merrimac Industries, Inc. (Amex: MRM) today announced that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Nitronex Corporation to develop new highly integrated power amplifiers using Merrimac's proprietary Multi-Mix(R) multilayer circuit technology and high-power gallium nitride (GaN) transistor technology from Nitronex. GaN device technology is highly sought as a higher- power replacement for GaAs and LDMOS device technology in communications equipment. The discrete transistors are ideal for high-power transmitter amplifiers in third-generation (3G) and fourth-generation (4G) wireless communications systems as well as emerging broadband WiMAX base stations. Nitronex has developed and qualified a GaN on Silicon process to service the needs of both Commercial Users in the Wireless Infrastructure Industry and Military users involved in Communications, Electronic Warfare and Radar systems. The ability to deliver high power, high frequency and broadband devices with outstanding efficiency is a key reason why users in both Commercial and Military systems are designing in GaN devices now.
Because of its outstanding thermal dissipation, Merrimac's Multi-Mix(R) technology supports the design and manufacture of reliable high-power amplifiers using RF power transistor die rather than larger, more expensive packaged devices. The use of transistor die allows extensive use of automation in the amplifier manufacturing process, resulting in extremely compact, cost- effective, and highly integrated amplifiers well suited for a wide range of commercial wireless infrastructure applications, including cellular and WiMAX basestations.
Multilayer Multi-Mix(R) Microtechnology provides high levels of integration for both active and passive designs. Because Multi-Mix(R) amplifier designs provide short, efficient thermal paths for active devices, even high-power-density devices such as the Nitronex GaN transistor die, they can be made extremely compact without hot spots that can compromise reliability and amplifier operating lifetime. Multi-Mix(R) Microtechnology is suitable for any high-power RF transistor technology currently used in commercial and military applications, including gallium arsenide (GaAs), silicon LDMOS, silicon carbide (SiC), and GaN.
Merrimac and Nitronex have agreed to consider the joint development of a roadmap for next-generation amplifier designs based on Merrimac's Multi-Mix(R) amplifier platform and Nitronex' high-performance GaN transistor technology. The roadmap will include the development of prototype units to be used to demonstrate the capabilities of the Multi-Mix(R) GaN amplifiers for different frequency bands and applications.
According to Nitronex VP Sales and Marketing Chris Rauh , "We think the combination of the Multilayer Multi-Mix(R) Microtechnology from Merrimac and Nitronex GaN on Silicon devices is a real winner for our customers in many markets."
Merrimac Chairman and CEO Mason N. Carter commented, "Merrimac is eager to work with Nitronex on the development of high-power Multi-Mix(R) amplifiers. By combining the high power density of their GaN transistors with the excellent thermal properties of multilayer Multi-Mix(R) Microtechnology, we are confident that we will develop new benchmarks in terms of the RF amplifier power/size ratio, reliability, and value for our customers."
Specializing in the development and manufacturing of gallium nitride-on-silicon (GaN-on-Si) RF power devices, Nitronex is the global leader in high-performance GaN-on-Si RF power devices. Based on its patented SIGANTIC(R) process -- gallium nitride on silicon technology -- Nitronex is at the forefront of commercializing GaN technology for RF applications. The company's ability to combine the disciplines of material growth, wafer processing, device design and wireless applications knowledge is unique to the industry. Nitronex was founded in 1999 by graduates of the wide bandgap program at North Carolina State University and is headquartered in Durham, North Carolina. It holds 19 patents with 19 others pending.