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11 January 2007


Raytheon’s next-generation GaN MMICs complete 8,000 hours of operational testing

Defense electronics manufacturer Raytheon, headquartered in Waltham, MA USA, says that gallium nitride (GaN) monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs), developed by its Integrated Defense Systems (IDS) business, have successfully completed 8,000 hours of operational testing.

According to the company, the tests were conducted at elevated temperatures and operating conditions in order to simulate performance over approximately 80,000 hours, or around nine years of normal operation. Raytheon adds that it will continue testing the new product in 2007.

"GaN semiconductors are capable of delivering up to 10-times higher power levels compared with the current technology," said Mark Russell, IDS' vice president of engineering. "Combined with their enhanced thermal characteristics, they offer the potential for improved performance in current and future military applications."

Raytheon’s GaN technology is for use in high-power applications such as military radar, communications, electronic warfare and missile systems.

Russell continued: “GaN technology can significantly expand the warfighter's reach into the battlespace by trading off increases in range, sensitivity and search capability for same sized antennas. Alternatively, GaN technology can reduce the radar antenna size by half while more than doubling the search volume.”