Compound Semiconductors in Wireless Communications Systems
Anthony A. Triolo
Wireless Technology Laboratory, Lucent Technologies
67 Whippany Rd., Whippany, NJ 07981
Over the past few years, the mobile wireless communications market has grown at an unprecedented rate and is expected to continue its phenomenal growth well into the next century. Along with this growth has come fierce competition among wireless service providers and equipment manufacturers. This competition has forced a cost reduction effort to be undertaken in the are of base station design. Base stations contain many compound semiconductor devices, but the larges single item in a typical base station, in terms of cost, physical size, and energy consumption, is the RF power amplifier. My talk will provide a general overview of wireless base station architecture and point out some requirements for compound semiconductors in each functional area, with an emphasis on the RF power amplifier. I will discuss cost requirements and possible market size for components, and also the role of emerging RF compound semiconductor technology in reducing the cost, physical size, and energy consumption of the power amplifier and hence, the base station.