TriQuint becomes first manufacturer to achieve MRL 9 for GaN

TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc., a RF solutions supplier and technology innovator, announced that it is the first gallium nitride (GaN) RF chip manufacturer to achieve Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 9. This achievement means TriQuint’s GaN manufacturing processes have met full performance, cost and capacity goals, and that the company has the capability in place to support full rate production.

To benchmark MRL 9, TriQuint applied the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory’s rigorous manufacturing readiness assessment tool and criteria to its high frequency, high power GaN production line. TriQuint’s ongoing development of GaN-based devices is leading to smaller, more efficient power amplifiers, typically used for military radar and electronic warfare programs as well as commercial wireless communications and infrastructure.

“TriQuint recently completed its Defense Production Act Title III GaN on silicon carbide (SiC) program and now we’ve proven that we provide the GaN maturity needed to support full-rate production programs,” said Vice President and General Manager James Klein, Infrastructure and Defense Products. “This has been a great team effort utilizing our partnerships across the industry including US DoD, domestic and international customers, and a great supply base.”

Key to the company’s assessment, TriQuint has shipped more than 170,000 0.25 um GaN power amplifier devices in support of an ongoing international radar production program. During phased array radar field testing, approximately 15,000 devices have accumulated more than 3.67 million device hours, with no reported device failures. TriQuint continues to demonstrate industry-leading reliability with a mean time to failure (MTTF) of greater than 70 million hours at 200 degrees Celsius, substantially greater than the industry standard of 1 million hours MTTF.

As an established GaN provider for domestic and international defense programs, TriQuint explored the potential of GaN beginning in 1999, and released its first GaN on silicon carbide (SiC) production process in 2008. Since that point, the company has continued to make significant investments towards maturing the technology. Today, GaN wafers are manufactured with yields that match our conventional GaAs technologies. TriQuint continues to provide record-setting GaN circuit reliability and compact, high efficiency products, paving the way for more robust performance, lower maintenance and longer operational lifetimes. TriQuint is also accredited by the Department of Defense as a Microelectronics Trusted Source (Category 1A) for its foundry; post-processing; packaging and assembly; and RF test services.

The Department of Defense’s Manufacturing Readiness Assessment (MRA) ensures that manufacturing, production and quality assurance can meet operational mission needs. This MRA tool assesses science and technology companies on criteria that provide guidance about the maturity and risk of a given technology – reviewing the industrial base readiness; technology development; and quality and manufacturing management. This process ensures that the product or system transitions successfully from the factory to the field, providing the best value for the customer. TriQuint demonstrated that its manufacturing processes met full performance, cost and capacity goals, with the capability in place to support full rate production.

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