The trend for communications infrastructures is to have an extremely high data rate and a latency near as much as possible to zero, the 5G protocol in particular requires a substrate able to work at high frequencies to ensure to reach this goal. The answer to this question could be the GaN material, utilized as substrate to realize electronic integrated components for high speed base-station in Europe network of communications:
“Another trend was the growing availability of GaN devices to replace LDMOS in 4G base stations, as the demands for wider bandwidth, better efficiency, and higher linearity propel the adoption of this technology, especially where LTE-Advanced carrier aggregation is being deployed. The ambitious energy savings targets that form part of 5G proposals will also obviously compel the adoption of GaN, and this was being anticipated by new transistors for the 3.4 – 3.8GHz range considered to be the primary sub-6GHz band suitable for the early introduction of 5G -based services in Europe. mmWave developments: Although the 5G mmWave frequency bands have still to be formally defined, the picture of what they are likely to be is becoming clearer. The EU’s Radio Spectrum Policy Group (RSPG) has recommended the band around 26GHz as the ‘Pioneer Band’ for mmWave 5G in its Strategic Roadmap towards Europe (November 2016), and this was naturally the focus for some European vendors’ offerings. The other candidate bands where development work is taking place include the FCC licensed bands at 28GHz (27.5 – 28.35GHz), 37GHz (37 – 38.6GHz) and 39GHz (38.6 – 40GHz)” (Source: Innovate UK)
These considerations are well explained in the “RSPG18-005 FINAL” by the RSPG (see Table 1):
The utilization of GaN in the semiconductor field is opening the road to new unprecedented results:
“Researchers from Sweden, France, and Russia teamed on the design and fabrication of a waveguide-balanced, phonon-cooled NbN hot-electron-bolometer (HEB) mixer on a GaN buffer layer. The mixer was used in a double-sideband (DSB) receiver operating at a local-oscillator (LO) frequency of 1.3 THz with extremely low noise temperatures for analysis of signals across wide bandwidths at terahertz frequencies. While such NbN-on-GaN mixers have been developed previously for THz applications, compared to mixers on silicon (Si) substrates, little has been documented on the noise performance of such THz mixers. These researchers used the Y-factor technique to characterize mixer integrated circuits (ICs), which were fabricated by photolithography and mounted within a THz waveguide receiver assembly, and subsequently measure the receiver noise temperature.” (Source: MICROWAVES&RF) (See also Figure 1).
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