NXP Semiconductor is amongst a group of companies that have come together to form the RF Energy Alliance announced at European Microwave Week. Joining NXP in the launch are EGO Elektro-Gerätebau, Huber+Suhner, ITW, Rogers Corporation and Whirlpool R&D (an affiliate company of Whirlpool Corporation).
The aim is to standardise solid-state RF technology and its associated component and sub-module roadmaps. The grouping says this will reduce cost, complexity and development time in bringing products to market.
Applications initially targeted include consumer and industrial cooking, industrial lighting and heating, automotive ignition and medical devices for ablation, hyperthermia treatment and imaging.
To begin with, the Alliance aims to increase involvement of RF energy in solid-state cooking, both for consumer and professional use, power at present by magnetron technology. However the technology has reached a tipping point where broad adoption can be realised in a variety of applications including industrial lighting and heating / drying, automotive ignition and medical devices for ablation, hyperthermia treatment and imaging.
By establishing standard specifications for solid-state RF energy, the alliance thinks the technology has the potential to become a highly-efficient, controllable and scalable energy and power source replacing magnetrons in these areas as well as enabling many other (new) applications, which demand the high degree of control possible with solid state.
The Alliance will define specifications for RF energy components, sub-modules, interfaces and systems. These specifications will be backed by roadmaps for critical elements in the application's supply chain to aid design and implementation efforts. A comprehensive validation and certification program ensuring reliability and base performance levels of components and end-products will also be established.
“The potential for use of RF energy on a societal base is enormous,” says Dr Klaus Werner, Business Development Manager, Solid State RF Energy Markets at NXP. “The widespread adoption of solid-state technology requires the alignment of many industry contributors. NXP is looking forward to taking in our role with respect to providing leading-edge RF power transistors and related technologies.”