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IIT-Kanpur develops transistors that can reduce costs of high-power circuits

IIT-Kanpur develops transistors that can reduce costs of high-power circuits
31 Dec, 2021

A team of professors at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur has developed a simplified, high-power transistor design that can find application in resource intensive sectors and reduce costs associated with production. The development, supported by the Department of Science and Technology (DST) of the government, will find application in the Indian space research and defence sectors. 

According to a release by the DST, the transistor in question is an aluminium gallium nitride (AlGaN/GaN) high electron mobility transistor (HEMT). The latter is based on the fundamental principle of a transistor, which can be used to build circuits that can amplify the strength of an incoming signal. 

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In this particular case, the AlGaN/GaN HEMTs can be used in high power radio frequency (RF) circuits. The researchers explained that the use of AlGaN HEMTs offer high breakdown voltage, which will therefore allow its application in high power circuits as it would allow a higher flow of current. 

An official statement said, “The technology is rapidly gaining popularity owing to its high performance and efficiency. It has two excellent properties – high mobility and high-power performance. These properties reduce the noise figure and complexity while designing Low Noise Amplifiers (LNAs) (used in wireless transmission like mobile phones, base stations) while increasing the achievable bandwidth.” 

The key achievement of the latest development is in simplification of design of the AlGaN HEMTs, which the researchers have stated will help automate the design of circuits with these transistors, scale up productions and reduce the overall costs.  

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The transistor technologies are already in use in technologies such as 5G stations, radars, telecom base stations and satellite communications, among other fields. They are already being used by the Indian Space Research Organisation (Isro) and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) to validate their use -- subsequent to which they would find wider applications in Indian space and defence sectors.