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Expect there have a product which is the total benefit of solder-mounting the devices when compared to any form of screw or clamp mounting. Some of these application notes compare various forms of thermal interface materials on RF performance, but they all stay within the confines of the particular mounting method.

In the standard manufacturing test process, typically clamp the device to a bare-copper heatsink under approximately 250 pound/in2 average pressure, with either thermal grease or no thermal-interface material whatsoever. Under those test conditions, get the standard RF-performance parameters that one sees in the data sheets and as reported on manufacturing test data reporting system.

But some of more experienced customers know that those reported numbers are not the true capability of the devices. When one solder mounts the parts rather then clamping or bolting, the whole set of RF performance numbers goes up significantly. Performance increases on the order of 1 dB in gain, 1% in efficiency, and perhaps as much as 2 dBc in ACPR are quite common, along with a reduction in maximum die operating temperatures, by as high as 20°C.

This cooler die temperature is one of the key drivers that lead to the increased RF performance, along with the improved, lower-resistance common source impedance through the back-side solder-mounting of the device. In addition, for silicon-based devices, every 10 to 15°C reduction in junction temperature results in doubling of mean time to failure (MTTF), leading to a more reliable power amplifier.

Because did not know the significant benefits involved with solder mounting. So why would anyone bolt-down mount an RF device.



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