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Raytheon and GlobalFoundries collaborate on new GaN process


Strategic collaboration and licensing agreement will focus on technology for future wireless networks

Raytheon Technologies, an aerospace and defence firm, and the US foundry company GlobalFoundries (GF), will collaborate to develop and commercialise a new GaN-on-Si process designed for 5G and 6G mobile and wireless infrastructure applications.

Under the agreement, Raytheon Technologies will license its proprietary GaN-on-Si technology and technical expertise to GF, which will develop the new process at its Fab 9 facility in Burlington, Vermont.

"Raytheon Technologies was one of the pioneers advancing RF gallium arsenide technology which has been broadly used in mobile and wireless markets, and we have similarly been at the forefront of advancing GaN technology for use in advanced military systems," said Mark Russell, Raytheon Technologies' chief technology officer. "Our agreement with GlobalFoundries not only demonstrates our common goal to make high performance communications technologies available at an affordable cost to our customers it continues to prove how investments in advanced defence technologies can improve lives, as well as defend them."

"This is a win for Vermont and a win for the United States," said Senator Patrick Leahy, chairman of the Senate Appropriations committee. "This collaboration between a world-class manufacturer, GlobalFoundries, and Raytheon Technologies, a leader in technological innovation, is good news for the nation's semiconductor supply chain and competitiveness."

"GlobalFoundries' innovations have helped drive the evolution of four generations of wireless communications that connect over 4 billion people. Our collaboration with Raytheon Technologies is an important step to ensuring the development and manufacturing capability of solutions for critical future 5G applications," said GF CEO Tom Caulfield. "This partnership will enable everything from AI-supported phones and driverless cars to the smart grid, as well as governments' access to data and networks which are essential to national security."

Combined with GF's manufacturing expertise and services in RF, testing, and packaging, the new GaN offering will increase RF performance while maintaining production and operational costs, enabling customers to achieve new levels of power and power-added efficiency to meet evolving 5G and 6G RF mm-wave operating frequency standards.

This collaboration with Raytheon is the latest of several strategic partnerships for GF.

GF employs nearly 2,000 people at Fab 9, and more than 7,000 people across the US. Over the past 10 years the company has invested $15 billion in US semiconductor development and is doubling its planned investment in 2021 to expand capacity and support growing demand from the US government and industry customers for secure processing and connectivity applications.

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