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Microwave and Millimeter Wave Vacuum Electron Devices Continue to be a Steady Market

by Lance Wilson | 2Q 2016 | IN-4061

Despite rumors of this segment’s demise, this legacy market continues to resist GaN’s intrusion. Vacuum electron devices, also known as electron tubes, represent one of electronics’ legacy markets. They have been around for well over one-hundred years and their basic operation is still the same. One section of this market segment is for VEDs that operate in the microwave and millimeter wave areas (>1 GHz). Most of this class of tubes are characterized by operation in strong magnetic fields and power ranges can go from a few watts to tens of megawatts. ABI Research classifies these tubes into five categories: travelling-wave tubes (TWT), klystrons, magnetrons, crossed-field amplifiers (CFA), and gyrotrons. All of these types of tubes are still with us today.

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