National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Glenn Research Center

Communications

Picture of Dish Antennas for Communications and Radar

High Power, High Temperature Microwave RF Electronic Devices

Silicon carbide based microwave electronics can function at large power densities and high temperatures offering significant improvements to wireless communications and radar.

Military aircraft desire solid-state microwave electronics operating at higher powers and temperatures than is theorectically possible with silicon and GaAs semiconductor devices. SiC-based microwave electronics is being developed to fill this void, but many of the same performance advantages apply to the expanding “global village” of worldwide electronic wireless communciations. Even though SiC technology is relatively young and immature compared to silicon and GaAs technology, the superior inherent physical properties of SiC has already enabled SiC transistors to perform at higher power densities. SiC RF transistors are being increasingly incorporated into radar systems, cell phone base stations, and High Definition Television (HDTV) Transmitters.