SSPA – A Very Important Electronic Device

The function of any amplifier, including the SSPA (solid-state power amplifier) is to increase or add to the power charge on its input signals. Solid-state amplifiers can amplify signals in the range 30KHz to 300GHz.

SSPA is commonly used in cellular networking and broadcasting systems. Its shape and size can be varied as needed by the circuit topography, especially in satellite communication applications.

SSPA is the most integral device for satellite and broadcasting applications. It performs the crucial function; that of amplifying weak radio frequencies signals-as received by the antennas- to the required amplification level.

In any amplifier, it is the transistors that carries out the bulk of the amplification job. Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) based transistors for SSPA were popular earlier, on account of its quick-replacement feature.

In recent times, however, the transistor based on gallium nitrate (GaN) is primarily used in SSPAs, as it provides improved efficiency without signal loss as compared to GaAs based SSPAs.

Earlier, for L, S, and C band satellite communications, GaN transistor-based SSPA was used. But now, for high frequencies like X, Ku, and Ka frequency bands, advanced GaN-based SSPAs are being used.

In addition, millimeter and microwave applications like radar and electronic warfare also use SSPAs with GaAs and/or GaN transistors.

Further, GaN-based SSPAs can withstand high operating temperatures without degrading any of the output parametric. GaN-based SSPA is said to be the most reliable amplifier on account of its lower maintenance down-time and savings on OPEX cost.

Raditek Inc provides SSPA covering the range 30KHz to 90GHz.  See the Raditek Inc website.