Magnetron vs Solid-State

Why are Solid State Generators Better than Magnetron Generators?

There are many advantages to solid-sate microwave power. Some of the key benefits include precision power, frequency, and phase control with ultra-fast response time.  Magnetrons can be noisy and unstable; solid state delivers pure, clean RF. The power transistors used in PTL and PTS generators are far more reliable than magnetrons with a rated lifetime of over 500,000 hours versus the few thousand hours typical of magnetrons.


Some key advantages solid-state transistors have over magnetron tubes:

  • Magnetron power control is slow and limited, no modulation possible. Solid state is fast and precise.
  • Slow warm up and cool down, transistors deliver near instant power
  • Magnetrons use dangerous high voltage (up to 20KV); strong RF in cabinet. Solid state uses low voltage DC.
  • Magnetron tube failure can lead to high cost of down time
  • Magnetrons often use complicated electro-mechanical controls. Solid State is all digital.
  • Magnetrons are difficult to troubleshoot and service. Solid state is modular and accessible.
  • Magnetrons are sensitive to AC power quality. Solid state has switch mode power supplies which help filter out bad AC.
  • The tubes themselves are fragile, solid state uses rugged, modular blades

Contact Us

Manufacturing Practice Leader


Crescend Technologies, LLC
100 High Grove Boulevard
Glendale Heights, IL 60139

Scroll to Top