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TriQuint to demonstrate key milestones in gallium nitride development

Together with customers and various US Government agencies, TriQuint is working to define the future of RF, where it believes GaN will play a key role. The firm will be showcasing its products and technologies at IMS 2011 between June 5 and 10

TriQuint Semiconductor, an RF solutions supplier and technology innovator, has announced several milestones related to its industry leading GaN developments.

 “These are exciting times in the GaN development cycle and TriQuint is pushing the envelope by demonstrating key achievements in the path to broad industry consumption. We have standard products available today and continue to enhance the reliability, manufacturability and performance of our GaN process technology. We intend to set a high bar for what customers should expect of GaN technology, customer service and semiconductor material experience,” said Thomas Cordner, TriQuint Vice President.

Together with researchers from the University of Notre Dame, TriQuint put its GaN NEXT Process, which is being developed with funds from DARPA and not yet commercially available, through stringent performance tests. The results of the testing demonstrated performance twice that of recently-claimed ‘best’ performance by University of California Santa Barbara. The paper, entitled, “State-of-the-Art E/D GaN Technology Based on an InAlN/AlN/GaN Heterostructure” itemises Ft>240GHz compared to the UCSB claim of Ft=120GHz. The paper also details Enhancement / Depletion integration with record DC and RF performances.

TriQuint’s commercial GaN foundry offering is now available on 100mm wafers in Limited Release. This release is designed for well-qualified customers with available resources prior to becoming a Full Release process. The latter will include the full complement of associated models, tools and support traditionally offered to TriQuint customers.

The firm’s GaN process technology has also been certified as a Department of Defence Category 1A ‘Trusted Foundry’ ensuring customers that TriQuint’s GaN process meets stringent product control and secure handling standards during all stages of circuit fabrication. Accreditation also creates an avenue for increased high security monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) business.

TriQuint has released several standard products based on its GaN process including:

    * The T1G4005528-FS is an innovative discrete RF power transistor with exceptional performance from DC to 3.5 GHz. Ideal for narrow and wideband applications, the T1G4005528-FS is well suited for military and civilian radar, professional and military radio communications systems, test instrumentation, avionics and wideband or narrowband amplifiers.

 * The T1G6001528-Q3 is a packaged GaN discrete RF power transistor offering substantial wideband coverage, high PAE, gain, and more than 18 Watts of output power and greater than 50% efficiency across an exceptionally wide bandwidth (DC to 6 GHz.). This multifaceted device can be used in professional and military radio communication systems, jammers, military and civilian radar, test instrumentation, avionics and wideband or narrowband amplifiers.

    * The TGA2576 is a power amplifier that delivers 30W of saturated output power in the 2.5-6 GHz range and typically offers 30% PAE and 25dBm of small signal gain. The PA is well suited for counter-IED (C-IED) and other EW (electronic weapons) systems.

TriQuint is working on several ongoing research contracts with government agencies to further its development of GaN for broad commercial use.

These include the Defence Production Act Title III. Announced in November 2010 and granted by US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), this $17.5M, multi-year contract is designed to develop manufacturing that increases yield, lowers costs and improves time-to-market cycles for defence and commercial GaN integrated circuits.

 The firm is also working on an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) Contract. Awarded by the AFRL, this program will develop new GaN modules for UAVs that will extend the range and capabilities of drone aircraft that are used for reconnaissance missions over Afghanistan, Iraq and other regions.

 The DARPA ‘NEXT’ program announced in October 2009 and awarded by Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is a $16.2M, multi-year contract funds the development of complex, high dynamic range circuits for future defense and aerospace applications.

This contract was recognised at the inaugural 2011 CS Europe Conference with a CS Europe Industry Award in the R&D category.

TriQuint is available to discuss progress on its GaN development efforts and range of other products for Base Station, Point to Point, Optical, Cable TV / FTTH, and Mobile Device applications at IMS 2011 June 5-10 in Baltimore, Maryland.
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