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Raytheon kicks off 15th year of GaN innovation

The firm's main advancements are in gallium nitride power and performance for warfighters
Raytheon has embarked on its fifteenth year of pioneering the development and system integration of GaN technology. 

In 1999, Raytheon commenced research in GaN at the Raytheon Foundry in Andover, Massachusetts.

Today, the company's GaN innovation extends the warfighter's reach into the battle space by increasing radar ranges, sensitivity and search capabilities.

“GaN technologies are transforming the way we address the evolving needs of our customers,” says Paul Ferraro, vice president of Advanced Technology for Raytheon’s Integrated Defence Systems business. “Through partnerships with the Office of the Secretary of Defence (OSD) and DARPA, we are harnessing the revolutionary power, efficiency and performance improvements that GaN provides in programs today including AMDR and Next Generation Jammer. We are optimistic about its impact on future initiatives like 3DELRR and others.”

Notable Milestones include:

•             In 2000, Raytheon fabricated its first GaN transistor, the building block for monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs). An MMIC is a type of integrated circuit device that operates at microwave frequencies (300 MHz to 300 GHz). These devices typically perform functions such as microwave mixing, power amplification, low noise amplification and high frequency switching.

•             From 2005 - 2008, Raytheon worked closely with DARPA on the WBGS Phase 2 program, meeting all transistor level technical metrics. The high power density, high efficiency process that emerged during this time helped form the underpinning for our microwave GaN production processes today.

•             In 2009, Raytheon released GaN for production in its 4” Trusted compound semiconductor foundry.

•             Raytheon was honoured by the Office of the Secretary of Defence (OSD) for successful completion of a Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III GaN production improvement program in 2013, culminating more than a decade of government and Raytheon investment in GaN RF (radio frequency) circuit technology.

•             Raytheon says it has demonstrated that the reliability of its GaN technology exceeded the requirement for insertion into production military systems. This maturation of GaN resulted in a Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) production capability of “8,” . This, the firm says, is the highest level obtained by any organisation in the defence industry for this technology. MRL.This is a measure used by the OSD and many of the world's major companies to assess the maturity of manufacturing readiness.

•             Also through the OSD Title III program, GaN yield was improved by more than 300 percent and cost was reduced more than 75 percent for MMICs.

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