Northrop Grumman Awarded Microscale Power Conversion Contract
News - Staff reports
Author: CompoundSemi News Staff
December 5, 2011... Northrop Grumman Corporation of Linthicum, Maryland USA, has been awarded a contract by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop more efficient radio frequency (RF) transmitter technology through the Microscale Power Conversion program. Under the terms of the three-year, $8.9 million contract, Northrop Grumman will conduct research on high-efficiency transmitters with gallium nitride (GaN) Class E power amplifiers in conjunction with RF wideband contour modulation and sub-banded switching supply modulation. The objective of the program is to use supply modulation and contour modulation in concert to improve both the dynamic range and efficiency of the power amplifier.
The Northrop Grumman and its subcontractors, the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) and TriQuint Semiconductor will perform the design work. UCLA will work on system architecture and co-design, design of the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor circuit and other elements, controls and test support. TriQuint Semiconductor will work on GaN and related process technologies. Northrop Grumman in Linthicium will do the final integration and demonstration.
"With more innovative RF power amplifier designs, we can produce much more efficient RF transmitters without increasing their size," said Pat Antkowiak, vice president and general manager of Northrop Grumman's Advanced Concepts & Technologies Division. "This technique can open the door to creating more powerful electronic systems for a wide variety of applications."
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