TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc., an RF solutions supplier and technology innovator, announced that it has reached a defense production milestone, successfully completing the Defense Production Act Title III Gallium Nitride on Silicon Carbide Production Capacity program.
“The mission of the DPA Title III program is to create assured, affordable and commercially-viable production capabilities and capacities for items essential for national defense, [which] strengthen the economic and technological competitiveness of the U.S. defense industrial base,” said Dr. Gene Himes, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory Program Manager. “This critical mission strengthens the economic and technological competitiveness of the U.S. industrial base, and TriQuint’s GaN technology has achieved that goal.”
TriQuint was recognized for its “outstanding contributions to national defense achieved under the Title III Gallium Nitride on Silicon Carbide Radar/Electronic Warfare Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuit Production Capacity Project,” at the final program management review held in Washington DC, on May 8, 2014. The citation was signed by the Honorable Frank Kendall, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.
“We’re honored to be recognized by Mr. Kendall and affirm our commitment to support the DoD community,” said Vice President and General Manager James Klein, Infrastructure and Defense Products. “TriQuint has proved its manufacturing readiness and GaN maturity, with yields rivaling established GaAs production, not only for defense production programs but also for our commercial customers.”
TriQuint has shipped more than 119,000 0.25 um GaN power amplifier devices in support of ongoing radar production programs. During phased array field testing, approximately 15,000 devices have accumulated more than 3.67 million device hours, with no reported device failures. With industry leading reliability based on three-temperature accelerated life testing, TriQuint has seen mean time to failure of much greater than 107 hours and a superior T1 (the time at which 1 percent of failures occur) of more than 106 hours at 200 degrees Celsius, without pre-conditioning, a notable achievement in this field.
As part of the Title III contract, awarded in 2010, TriQuint progressed through three program phases to prove manufacturing readiness at its Richardson, Texas facility. The first phase assessed TriQuint’s initial manufacturing readiness. In the second phase, TriQuint worked to refine and improve the production processes, with the goal of reaching the manufacturing readiness needed for Low Rate Initial Production (LRIP) of GaN monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs). In the final phase, TriQuint applied the lessons learned throughout the program, showing that its manufacturing processes are ready to meet full performance, cost and capacity goals, with the capability in place to support full rate production. TriQuint’s Texas facility is an accredited DoD Trusted Source for foundry; post-process; assembly and packaging; and RF test services.
TriQuint leads GaN research and product development for both defense and civilian applications. Under the guidance of the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, rigorous manufacturing readiness assessment criteria were used to benchmark TriQuint’s high frequency, high power GaN production capability. TriQuint’s ongoing development of GaN-based devices is leading to smaller, more efficient power amplifiers, typically used for Department of Defense radar and electronic warfare programs as well as commercial wireless communications and infrastructure.