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IEEE honours Fujitsu for HEMT invention


IEEE awards Milestone plaque for improving the performance of radio telescopes and satellite broadcasting receivers

The HEMT developed by Fujitsu Laboratories in 1979 has been certified as an IEEE milestone. Fujitsu was awarded the IEEE Milestone plaque at a ceremony held on December 18 in Tokyo, Japan, for improving the performance of radio telescopes and satellite broadcasting receivers.

HEMTs are transistors that operate at high speed by creating a two-layer structure that spatially separates the source and travel regions of electrons within the transistor. This feature enables the transistor to receive weak, high-frequency signals with high sensitivity.

In 1985, Fujitsu commercialised the HEMT as a microwave semiconductor device product with the world's lowest noise level and it was adopted for the radio telescope at the Nobeyama Radio Observatory (NRO) in Nagano, Japan.

The telescope discovered an unknown interstellar molecule one year later in 1986, significantly contributing to the progress of basic science. After being installed in satellite broadcasting receivers around the world, the transistors have become an essential part of various microwave and millimeter-wave devices, such as mobile devices, base stations, GPS receivers, and millimeter-wave radar that prevents collisions between automobiles. Accordingly, the HEMT has been the fundamental technology supporting the information and communications society.

With over 420,000 members in more than 160 countries, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) is the world's largest technical professional society in such fields as electricity, electronics, information and telecommunications. The IEEE Milestone has recognised historic achievements in these areas that have successfully contributed to the development of local communities and industries over the past 25 years.

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