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AESA (Actively Electronically Scanned Array) radars use thousands of individual transmit/receive elements to create a radar. All in service AESAs use gallium arsenide as the material in the t/r elements. It is said that gallium nitride allows a tenfold increase in the power emitted by these elements? What allows GaN to emit so much more radio frequency energy than GaAs?

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The short answer is that GaN transistors have a much higher breakdown voltage and saturation velocity than GaAs, allowing them to operate at higher voltages at high frequency, handling more power. The large band gap (~2x GaAs) means that GaN still behaves like a semiconductor, even at relatively high temperatures, allowing for higher operating powers.

GaN has really been a breakthrough in semiconductor technology. It's what allows us to have 405 nm violet laser diodes and could potentially replace magnetrons in microwave ovens. NXP has a little document here comparing GaN with a few older technologies that's a quick read.

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