In today’s microwave market, many solutions call for high-power RF amplifier systems. As a replacement for traveling-wave-tube amplifiers (TWTAs), for example, CAP Wireless’ Spatium RF power-combining technology aims to improve broadband RF power efficiency. Recognizing this technology’s current and future potential, TriQuint Semiconductor recently acquired CAP Wireless. By merging the Spatium technology [which is based on gallium-arsenide (GaAs) monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs)] with TriQuint’s gallium-nitride (GaN) device expertise, it may be possible to improve Spatium’s performance in terms of efficiency, power density, frequency coverage, and output power.  

The improvements to Spatium will mainly be achieved through the use of coaxial spatial combining techniques, which have already demonstrated better than 90% power-combining efficiency. The new approach will also offer solid-state reliability, smaller form factors, higher power densities, and reduced weight and lifecycle costs compared to former systems. Applications include electronic warfare (EW), communications, and radar for both communications and defense markets. Beyond the technology enhancement, this acquisition has expanded TriQuint’s portfolio of high-power/high-frequency products.