I have been using a HMC981 with an external VNEG supply at -1.22V with a 402k resistor between VGATE and VGATEFB as advised by application support. Can the HMC980 be used in the same way with the same 402k resistor?
Yes external resistor calculation for HMC980 is the same with HMC980.
It would be better to set the Vgate threshold to a bit higher value, in order to compensate for the part to part and temperature variations of the resistors. e.g. if Vneg threshold is -1.22 V, you can set Vgate threshold to -1.1 V with 368 kOhm.
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