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29 July 2014

TriQuint first manufacturer to reach Manufacturing Readiness Level 9 for GaN

RF front-end component maker TriQuint Semiconductor Inc of Hillsboro, OR, USA says that it is the first gallium nitride (GaN) RF chip maker to achieve Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 9, meaning that its GaN manufacturing processes have met full performance, cost and capacity goals, and that the firm has the capability in place to support full-rate production.

To benchmark MRL 9, TriQuint applied the manufacturing readiness assessment tool and criteria of the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to its high-frequency, high-power GaN production line. TriQuint says that its 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,” says James Klein, VP & general manager, 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 firm’s assessment, TriQuint has shipped more than 170,000 0.25μm GaN power amplifier devices in support of an ongoing international radar production program. During phased-array radar field testing, about 15,000 devices have accumulated more than 3.67 million device hours, with no reported device failures. TriQuint continues to demonstrate reliability, with a mean time to failure (MTTF) of greater than 70 million hours at 200°C, much 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-SiC production process in 2008. Since then, the firm has continued to make investments towards maturing the technology. GaN wafers are now manufactured with yields that match the firm’s conventional gallium arsenide (GaAs) technologies. In GaN research and product development for both defense and commercial applications, TriQuint says that it 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 US Department of Defense (DoD) as a Microelectronics Trusted Source (Category 1A) for its foundry; post-processing; packaging & assembly; and RF test services.

The DoD’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. The process ensures that the product or system transitions successfully from the factory to the field.

See related items:

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

Tags: TriQuint GaN RF GaN-on-SiC

Visit: www.triquint.com/applications/defense

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