TriQuint to boost GaN power amplifiers for DARPA

Septembe4 24, 2012 - TriQuint Semiconductor says it has received a $2.7M contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to triple the power handling performance of gallium nitride (GaN) circuits.

The Near Junction Thermal Transport (NJTT) effort will build on TriQuint’s advanced GaN on silicon carbide (SiC) technology and the reliability of its state-of-the-art RF integrated circuits. NJTT focuses on thermal resistance at the "near junction" of the transistor die as well as the device substrate — areas that can be responsible for more than 50% of operational temperature increases. Combining GaN on SiC process technology with diamond substrates and new thermal handling processes, TriQuint aims to significantly reduce heat build-up to enable GaN devices that can generate much more power.

"Like other programs we have supported, NJTT will set the stage for substantial MMIC performance enhancements including reduced size, weight and power consumption while increasing reliability and output power," stated James L. Klein, TriQuint’s VP/GM for infrastructure and defense products.

Partners in the program with TriQuint include the University of Bristol in the UK (thermal testing, modeling and micro Raman thermography), Group4 Labs (diamond substrates), and Lockheed Martin (project results evaluation, impact on future defense systems). TriQuint’s own facilities offer 0.25μm GaN on SiC (100mm wafers) for DC-18 GHz applications.

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