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15 July 2014

TriQuint achieves defense production milestones as part of Title III GaN-on SiC EW MMIC Production Capacity program

RF front-end component maker and foundry services provider TriQuint Semiconductor Inc of Hillsboro, OR, USA has reached a defense production milestone, completing the Defense Production Act Title III Gallium Nitride on Silicon Carbide (GaN on SiC) Advanced EW (Electronic Warfare) MMIC 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 US defense industrial base,” says Dr Gene Himes, US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) program manager. “This critical mission strengthens the economic and technological competitiveness of the US industrial base, and TriQuint’s GaN technology has achieved that goal,” he adds. 

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 in Washington DC on 8 May. The citation was signed by the Honorable Frank Kendall, Undersecretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics.

“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,” says James Klein, TriQuint’s VP & general manager Infrastructure and Defense Products.

TriQuint has shipped more than 119,000 0.25μm GaN power amplifier devices in support of ongoing radar production programs. During phased-array field testing, about 15,000 devices have accumulated more than 3.67 million device hours, with no reported device failures. With what is claimed to be industry-leading reliability based on three-temperature accelerated life testing, TriQuint has seen mean time to failure (MTTF) of much greater than 107 hours and a superior T1 (the time at which 1% of failures occur) of more than 106 hours at 200°C, without pre-conditioning.

As part of the Title III contract, awarded in 2010, TriQuint progressed through three program phases to prove manufacturing readiness at its facility in Richardson, TX. 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 Department of Defense (DoD) Trusted Source for foundry, post-process, assembly & packaging, and RF test services.

Under the guidance of the AFRL’s Materials and Manufacturing Directorate, rigorous manufacturing readiness assessment criteria were used to benchmark TriQuint’s high-frequency, high-power GaN production capability. The firm says that its ongoing development of GaN-based devices is leading to smaller, more efficient power amplifiers, typically used for DoD radar and electronic warfare programs as well as commercial wireless communications and infrastructure.

Tags: TriQuint GaN RF GaN-on-SiC

Visit: www.triquint.com/defense

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