Despite Continuing Rumors of This Segment’s Demise, This Legacy Market Continues to Resist GaN’s Intrusion

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By Lance Wilson | 1Q 2020 | IN-5749


Electon Tubes, One of Electronics' Original Markets


Vacuum Electron Devices (VEDs), also known as electron tubes, represent one of electronics’ early legacy markets. They have been around for well over 100 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 their 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.

The Microwave and Millimeter Wave Market Has Proven Resistant to Solid-State RF Power Devices


When Gallium Nitride (GaN) devices burst onto the scene in a practical sense a few years ago, it was thought that microwave and millimtere wave VEDs would rapidly see their demise. Intially, in some low power (<100 W) and lo…

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