Air Force Awards RFMD $9.7M Contract to Produce Millimeter Wave GaN-on-SiC ICs

RFMD based in Greensboro, North Carolina USA, has signed a $9.7 million contract with the Manufacturing and Industrial Technologies Directorate of the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL). The contract is produce 0.14 micron GaN monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) technology, and transfer production to 6-inch diameter wafers using RFMD’s 6-inch GaN-on-Silicon Carbide (SiC) manufacturing line.

RFMD claims its 6-inch GaN wafers offer 2.5-times more useable area than competing 4-inch GaN wafers provide. The company further asserts that millimeter wave GaN offers the best trade-off between performance parameters such as efficiency, bandwidth, and power gain for applications ranging from DC to over 100GHz.

“Through this Air Force contract we have the opportunity to establish the industry’s first 6-inch millimeter wave GaN-on-SiC process technology, allowing RFMD to expand our technology capabilities beyond 100GHz,” said Gorden Cook, general manager of RFMD Power Broadband. “We expect this new technology will not only enable a new class of affordable power MMICs for defense applications such as radar and military communications, but also commercial applications including cable TV networking, microwave backhaul and cellular infrastructure.”