Low Loss MMIC Balun Family Covers Bands from 3 to 100 GHz

—Initial products cover 3–18 GHz, 11–65 GHz, and 27–100 GHz
—Low loss, tight matching, and high power handling
—3–18 GHz balun has option for AC coupled differential ports to simplify external circuitry
—Die for integration in multichip modules; 3–18 GHz baluns also available in SMT packages

mmTron announces the first four products in a family of broadband, low loss, 50 Ω baluns, covering 3–18, 11–65, and 27–100 GHz. (Baluns are components that transform balanced to unbalanced signals and vice versa.)

“Several of our MMIC products use baluns, and we designed our own to get the best performance. Our experienced designers chose a high power and high Q GaAs process to achieve very low loss, excellent gain and phase matching, and higher power handling,” said Seyed Tabatabaei, mmTron’s CEO and founder. “We’re now offering them as products, so other designers can use them.”

The TMC810-1 and TMC811-1 cover 3 to 18 GHz and have 2 dB midband insertion loss. The balanced ports have 0.4 dB amplitude and 1 degree phase matching, with a common mode rejection of 35 dB. Return loss is 10 dB.

On the TMC811-1, the balanced ports are DC coupled and connect to ground. On the TMC810-1, the balanced ports are AC coupled, which eliminates the need for large, external coupling capacitors in applications where DC voltage is present at the balanced ports.

Circuit diagrams of the TMC810-1 and TMC811-1

The TMC812 and TMC813 baluns cover 11 to 65 and 27 to 100 GHz, respectively, and are DC coupled.

All the baluns are offered as die so they can be integrated in multichip modules. To simplify module assembly, the layouts are symmetric. The TMC810-1 and TMC811-1 are also available in QFN packages for surface-mount assembly.

Part Number Frequency Range (GHz) Die Size (mm) Differential Ports Die/SMT
TMC810-1 3–18 1.25 x 2.17 AC Die & QFN
TMC811-1 3–18 1.25 x 2.17 DC Die & QFN
TMC812 11–65 1.25 x 0.85 DC Die
TMC813 27–100 0.79 x 2.17 DC Die

All baluns in the family are available in production quantities.

More information about product performance is available at mmTron’s Products page. For characterization measurements and datasheets, email mmTron at contact@mmtron.com.

Low Noise, High Linearity RF to A/D Converter Interfaces

Family of RF interface devices for driving high-speed A/D converters to Ka-Band
Low noise and high OIP2/OIP3 maximize the dynamic range and sensitivity of software-defined radios
TMC161 integrates an input balun with bias T; quasi-differential low noise, high OIP2/OIP3 amplifiers; and dual lowpass filters in a 7 mm x 7 mm QFN

mmTron announces the release of a family of MMICs for driving high-speed analog-to-digital (A/D) converters. The TMC161 family converts a single-ended RF input to a differential output to drive A/D converters for direct-sampling applications from L/S/C- into Ku- and Ka-Band. The TMC161 provides low noise, high linearity (low IMD2 and IMD3 distortion) amplification and anti-alias filtering.


Increasing data converter Nyquist sampling rates and instantaneous bandwidth have enabled a simplified RF front-end architecture to be adopted by many applications. System benefits include simpler frequency planning; high spur-free dynamic range (SFDR); reduced latency; low analog phase and amplitude uncertainty; simplified channel synchronization; and lower size, weight, power, and cost (SWAP-C).

“Higher A/D converter sampling rates are enabling direct digital conversion at ever-increasing bandwidths, making the quality of the RF signal presented to the A/D converter critical to maximizing the system's dynamic range and sensitivity,” said Seyed Tabatabaei, mmTron’s CEO and founder. “Our skilled team designed the TMC161 family to provide high SFDR and low noise amplification with low IMD2 and IMD3 distortion, while converting a single-ended RF input to the differential signal required by high sample-rate A/D converters. The integration provides SWAP-C advantages for software-defined radios.”


EW systems must simultaneously track multiple targets and instantaneously tune across a wide frequency range to implement complex sweeping and hopping patterns. The TMC161 and its companion TMC160 digital-to-analog (D/A) converter interface extend the frequency range of direct digital processing in these systems into Ka-Band.

In addition to EW, the TMC161 simplifies the design of software-defined radios for instrumentation, radar, satellite communications, and 5G, enabling the receiver to process a much wider instantaneous bandwidth in less time than previous solutions.


The TMC161 integrates an input balun with bias T, quasi-differential low noise amplifiers, and anti-alias lowpass filters in a 7 mm x 7 mm air-cavity surface-mount QFN. The anti-alias filters can be custom designed to reject specific clock and mixing frequencies.

TMC161 block diagram showing the input feeding a balun, to convert from single-ended to differential, followed by dual amplifiers, each with a lowpass filter, leading to the dual output of the device. The dual output ports connect to the differential inputs of an analog/digital converter.

Each product in the family provides 10–16 dB gain with 6 dB noise figure and 29–33 dBm output third-order intercept (OIP3). Biased with 5 V and –0.7 V, the RFIC draws 250 mA. The internal bias T eliminates the need for an external inductor, simplifying amplifier biasing.


Characterization data, samples, and reference design assistance are available for customer evaluation for the TMC160-16, which covers 3–16 GHz. 12 and 18 GHz versions will be available during the fourth quarter of 2023.

To receive more information, including datasheets, email mmTron at contact@mmtron.com.

Family of GaN Power Amplifier MMICs for mmWave 5G and Satcom

mmTron announces a family of five GaN power amplifiers (PAs) for the mmWave 5G and satellite communications (Satcom) bands from 22 to 41 GHz. The family offers a range of frequency coverage and output power options, and all five were designed to optimize linearity for high data rate communications waveforms.

mmTron’s GaN PA Family
— TMC211: 50 W, 27–31 GHz — Highest Power Single-Chip MMIC
— TMC2111: 40 W, 25.5–29.5 GHz
— TMC152: 10 W, 22–26 GHz
— TMC253: 6 W, 26–30 GHz
— TMC212: 5 W, 37–41 GHx

“Our customers tell us the market needs more power and better linearity to extend the reach and data rates of mmWave links, whether 5G or Satcom,” said Seyed Tabatabaei, mmTron’s CEO and founder. “We designed this family of GaN PAs with the goal of achieving higher power and linearity without sacrificing efficiency.”

mmTron’s GaN PAs are fabricated with an advanced GaN HEMT process that provides both power density and high linearity. mmTron’s approach to optimizing for power, linearity, and efficiency is illustrated by two of the MMIC designs.


The lead product in the family, the TMC211, was designed to be the first single-chip PA to provide 50 watts saturated output power in the 27 to 31 GHz band.

The single die integrates a single-ended, two-stage PA designed to provide 50 watts without power combining multiple MMICs with the attendant combining losses — particularly problematic at mmWave frequencies. mmTron’s single-chip PA reduces the area some 60 percent compared to combining two MMICs.

A single, small die would typically increase the channel temperature of the MMIC. However, the TMC211’s design also reduces power consumption, which lowers the channel temperature and improves the mean time between failures (MTBF). mmTron’s design rules support 15-year satellite lifetimes.

Performance specifications for the TMC211 include 30 percent power-added efficiency (PAE), 12 dB large-signal gain, and an output third-order intercept (TOI) of 53 dBm — the highest linearity reported for a PA in this band.


For the 39 GHz 5G band, the TMC212 was designed to provide 5 watts saturated power with an output TOI of 43 dBm and 20 dB small-signal gain.

The three-stage PA was simultaneously optimized for linearity and PAE: 4 percent error vector magnitude (EVM) at 27 dBm output power (with a 400 MHz, 64-QAM signal) and 26 percent PAE at saturated output power.


TMC212, TMC2111, TMC152, and TMC253 die are available for production orders. TMC211 die will be available in production volumes in the third quarter of 2023.

All MMICs in the family will also be available in packaged versions.

More information about the performance of mmTron’s GaN PA MMIC portfolio is available on the product page of the website: www.mmtron.com/products/.

For data sheets and to get characterization samples, reach out via email to contact@mmtron.com.

New 2 W, DC–26.5 GHz Distributed Power Amplifier MMIC

mmTron announces availability of a 2 watt, pHEMT, distributed power amplifier (PA) covering DC to 26.5 GHz.

The TMC200 at a glance:
— 2 W saturated output power mid-band
— 15 dB small-signal gain
— 44 dBm OIP3
— On-chip detector and reference diodes
— GaAs pHEMT process

Designed to improve the performance of the venerable distributed amplifier, the TMC200 covers DC to 26.5 GHz and provides more than 2 watts saturated output power with a typical third-order intercept (TOI) of 44 dBm. The PA’s small-signal gain is 15 dB, and it has a typical mid-band noise figure of 2.5 dB.

Plot of the gain of a number of TMC200 MMICs measured on-wafer. The gain is tightly grouped around 15 dB from approximately 1 to 25 GHz, rolling off above 25 GHz.
TMC200 gain measured on-wafer.

“With its wide bandwidth and dynamic range, the TMC200 is well-suited for instrumentation and electronic warfare systems,” said Seyed Tabatabaei, mmTron’s CEO and founder. “We designed the amplifier to be more linear by tailoring the epi used for the active devices and optimizing the gate widths and the load seen by each transistor. We added an integrated detector and reference diodes on-chip to enable output power measurement and temperature compensation.”

Because of the distributed amplifier architecture, the MMIC is well matched to 50 Ω, with input and output return losses better than 10 dB.

The recommended bias for the TMC200 is 15 V on the drain and a negative gate voltage to set the quiescent drain current to approximately 530 mA.

The MMIC die measures 3 mm x 1.9 mm x 0.1 mm and has Au-based metallization compatible with the wire and wedge bonding used in chip-and-wire assemblies. The backside metallization is optimized for both epoxy and eutectic die attachment.

Samples of the TMC200 are available for immediate shipment. To receive more information about the performance of the PA, including the datasheet, contact mmTron at contact@mmtron.com.

The TMC200 is one of a family of distributed amplifiers developed by mmTron. Other products in the family include the TMC162, optimized for low noise; the TMC163 designed for high linearity; and the TMC164, a medium power distributed amplifier. Performance information about these MMICs is at mmtron.com/products.

Low Noise, High Linearity Interface for High-Speed DACs

Broadband TMC160 supports >10 giga-samples-per-second (GSPS) DACs
7 mm x 7mm QFN package integrates anti-aliasing filter; quasi-differential low noise, high IIP3 amplifiers; and balun for single-ended output
Low noise amplifier (LNA) die available as a separate product

mmTron, Inc. announces the release of the TMC160 digital-to-analog converter (DAC) interface IC. The IC amplifies and converts the differential output of a high-speed DAC to a clean, low noise, single-ended signal to drive the RF chain of a transmitter.

“High-speed DACs now have sample rates above 10 GSPS and require low noise, highly linear microwave interfaces to filter and convert their differential outputs to feed the single-ended RF transmit chain,” said Seyed Tabatabaei, mmTron’s CEO and founder. "mmTron’s TMC160 DAC interface IC was designed for this purpose."

With 16 GHz bandwidth, the TMC160 integrates anti-alias lowpass filtering, low noise amplification, and a balun that converts the differential DAC output to a single-ended 50 Ω output compatible with traditional RF signal chains. The differential architecture provides high common-mode rejection.

Block diagram of the TMC160 showing, from input to output, the differential filters, LNAs, and the output balun that converts the differential signal to single-ended.

TMC160 block diagram

The TMC160 has 10–16 dB nominal gain to 16 GHz, a noise figure (NF) under 5 dB, and 30 dBm output third-order intercept (IP3). The built-in anti-alias filter rejects the clock and intermodulation signals from the DAC. The TMC160 quasi-differential LNA is biased with 5 V and nominally draws 250 mA. To bias the gates of the low noise amplifiers, a low current negative supply is also required. As the input and output are DC coupled, the design includes an internal bias T to eliminate the need for an external inductor, simplifying the bias interface at the balun.

The multichip module is packaged in a 7 mm x 7 mm air-cavity QFN.

Characterization data and samples of the TMC160 are available for customer evaluation. To receive more information about the performance of the TMC160, including the data sheet, email mmTron at contact@mmtron.com.

The clock frequency and characteristics of the anti-alias filter can be customized, and future packaging options include ceramic air-cavity and plastic overmolded QFNs. The broadband LNA will also be available as a separate die product.

mmTron Announces DC–160 GHz, Low Phase Noise Distributed Amplifier

August 10, 2022

New TMC774 mmWave Amplifier Enables 6G, Satellite, Defense, and Instrumentation Applications to Deliver Industry-Leading High Performance. more

mmTron Introduces 2 To 20 GHz High OIP2 GaAs MMIC Distributed PA

July 1, 2022

mmTron Inc., a leading provider of mmwave Custom MMICs and integrated transceiver modules, has developed TMC201, a distributed linear amplifier (PA) for commercial, industrial, space, and military applications from 2 to 20 GHz. more