Qorvo Inc., a leading provider of core technologies and RF solutions for mobile, infrastructure and aerospace/defense applications, announced it has successfully scaled its proprietary QGaN25 gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon carbide (SiC) process to produce monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) on six-inch wafers. The transition from 4-inch to 6-inch wafers is expected to approximately double Qorvo's GaN on SiC manufacturing capacity and favorably impact manufacturing costs – significantly accelerating the affordable manufacture of RF devices.
"The successful demonstration of GaN on SiC MMICs on 6-inch wafers paves the way for significantly increased production capacity and cost efficiencies," said James Klein, president of Qorvo's Infrastructure and Defense Products Group (IDP). "This is a significant milestone that extends Qorvo's leadership position providing best-in-class processes and GaN products to the commercial and defense markets."
Qorvo successfully proved that its QGaN25 production process, on high yielding, X-band power amplifier (PA) monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs), can be scaled from 4-inch to 6-inch GaN on SiC wafers. This demonstration paves the way for converting all of the Company's GaN on SiC production processes to 6-inch wafers, with gate lengths ranging from 0.15 um to 0.50 um, covering the full range of microwave to mmW applications. Full rate production is anticipated in 2016.
The 12-watt X-band point-to-point MMIC PAs met greater than 80 percent DC and RF yields, which leads the industry. This process feasibility sets the stage for high rate production for the commercial base transceiver station (BTS) and point-to-point radio, CATV and defense markets.
The wafer-size scale-up furthers Qorvo's leadership as a Defense Manufacturing Electronics Agency accredited 1A Trusted Source. Qorvo completed the Defense Production Act Title III GaN on SiC program in 2014, and is the first company to have achieved Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) 9, demonstrating that its high-performing manufacturing processes are ready for full-rate production.
The Department of Defense's Manufacturing Readiness Assessment (MRA) ensures that manufacturing, production and quality assurance can meet operational mission needs. This process ensures that the product or system transitions successfully from the factory to the field, providing the best value for the customer, and meeting full performance, cost and capacity goals.