Nitronex Corp., a manufacturer of gallium nitride (GaN) based radio frequency (RF) power transistors, said it has received a key U.S. patent.

The latest Nitronex patent was issued on Sept. 9 and is entitled “Gallium Nitride Material and Methods.” The patent teaches process technology used for growing GaN semiconductor layers on silicon substrates and includes Nitronex’s Sigantic core platform technology.

“The issuance of this patent strengthens our intellectual property space and differentiates Nitronex from others commercializing gallium nitride semiconductors,” said Kevin Linthicum, chief technology officer of Nitronex. “This is a valuable addition to Nitronex’s portfolio and is of strategic importance as it captures very broad protection for depositing device-quality gallium nitride on industry standard silicon wafers.”

Additionally, Raleigh-based Nitronex, in collaboration with aviation electronics and communications leader Rockwell Collins, said it has demonstrated a single unit GaN transistor yielding record-breaking output power of 120 Watts. Nitronex used its Sigantic platform and fabricated the 120W device. Rockwell Collins packaged and tested the device at its facility in Cedar Rapids, IA.

The current results of the combined effort between Nitronex and Rockwell Collins validates that GaN has great potential to play a major role in future RF power amplifier systems, the companies said.

“We believe this demonstration by Rockwell Collins further validates the quality of our technology and confirms that it is well suited for a wide range of RF applications in addition to the wireless base station (BTS) market,” Linthicum added. “Our Sigantic platform presents the same value proposition for these RF markets as it does for the BTS market: Higher power, broader bandwidth and lower cost.”

The Office of Naval Research, under a Phase II STTR contract, partly funded Nitronex’s development effort used by Rockwell Collins.