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Definition

gallium nitride (GaN)

See also gallium arsenide .

Gallium nitride (GaN) is a semiconductor compound expected to make possible miniaturized, high-power wireless transmitters. These transmitters will be combined with sensitive receivers into telephone sets capable of directly accessing communications satellite . The compound can also be used in light-emitting diodes ( LED s) and other semiconductor devices.

The advantages of GaN devices include high output power with small physical volume, and high efficiency in power amplifiers at ultra-high and microwave radio frequencies.

The main problem with GaN technology is cost. A special process is required to grow a GaN crystal or wafer on which transistor s and integrated circuits ( IC s) can be fabricated. Once the process is implemented on a large scale, the cost should come down.

This was last updated in March 2011
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