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6 October 2008


TriQuint wins $4.5m Navy contract to extend GaAs pHEMTs above 20GHz

The US Office of Naval Research (ONR) in Arlington, VA has awarded RF front-end product manufacturer and foundry services provider TriQuint Semiconductor Inc of Hillsboro, OR a 21-month, $4.5m contract (no. N00014-08-C-0636) to advance manufacturing methods used to produce high-power, high-frequency gallium arsenide amplifiers. TriQuint is the sole contractor and is performing the work at its facility in Richardson, TX.

TriQuint was chosen on the basis of its experience developing high-performance, high-reliability amplifiers for a wide range of defense and aerospace applications, according to Dr David Fanning, TriQuint Contract program manager. “Winning this contract demonstrates the government’s confidence in TriQuint’s ability to develop the critical technologies needed for Department of Defense applications,” he says. “High-voltage gallium arsenide is a tested and proven technology that exhibits high reliability using existing processes and materials, ideally suited for military and commercial production programs.”

TriQuint’s high-voltage pseudomorphic high-electron-mobility transistor (pHEMT) GaAs technology will be the focus of the new ONR research and production development program, since it provides higher power density (more power per square millimeter of surface area) and efficiency compared to other processes, claims Fanning. Such performance characteristics are required for critical Navy applications, including phased array radar, electronic warfare and communications systems. TriQuint has been developing high-voltage GaAs pHEMT technology since 2000; advanced X-band and S-band versions of the process were developed under previous ONR contracts.

Fanning explains that the new program’s objectives are to extend the use of the high-voltage GaAs pHEMT technology to higher frequencies. In a first phase, TriQuint will develop new high-frequency, high-power device technology and extract circuit design models. In the second phase, the firm will design and fabricate high-power monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs).

“TriQuint currently supplies high-volume, cost-effective foundry services and standard products based on both low- and high-voltage gallium arsenide,” says Dr Gailon Brehm, director of Defense & Aerospace Product Marketing. “This enhanced high-frequency technology will extend the capability of our GaAs process family to the higher voltage needed for both military and commercial applications at frequencies above 20GHz,” he adds. “As such, it will provide a new capability intermediate between today’s GaAs and the emerging GaN technology.”

See related item:

TriQuint’s Q2 growth slowed by delayed product ramp

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