M/A-COM Technology Solutions Holdings Inc., a leading supplier of high-performance analog RF, microwave, millimeterwave, and photonic semiconductor products, announced that its Scalable Planar ARray (SPAR) Tile technology has been selected by Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Lincoln Laboratory (MIT LL) for use in a test bed for the U.S Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency’s (DARPA) Arrays at Commercial Timescale (ACT) program.

DARPA’s ACT program is designed to streamline development and manufacturing cycles for next-generation radar, electronic warfare and communications systems by leveraging best practices established in the commercial domain. Working with MIT LL, MACOM will interface its SPAR Tiles with back-end electronics to explore new techniques for achieving new capabilities in digital phased arrays. 

SPAR Tiles are RF assemblies containing antenna elements, GaAs and GaN semiconductors, transmit and receive modules and RF and power distribution networks. When combined with additional signal generation and receive and control electronics, the composite assembly forms the building block for the MPAR planar active electronically scanned antenna (AESA) for the radar system. 

SPAR Tiles enable the transition from cumbersome traditional brick architectures to a more efficient planar approach. By leveraging MACOM’s commercial manufacturing expertise, MACOM believes that SPAR Tiles will help drive cost efficiencies that are required to propel MPAR to mainstream adoption and deployment in the latter part of this decade. 

“Working collaboratively with MIT Lincoln Laboratory, MACOM has played a leading role in advancing SPAR Tile technology to mainstream adoption,” said Dr. Doug Carlson, Vice President, Strategy, MACOM. “We believe that the commercial manufacturing approaches taken in the implementation of SPAR Tiles are fully in line with DARPA’s ACT program objectives. The interface of ACT technology with our tiles demonstrates a new approach to RF system implementation, which is anticipated to drive both shortened time to market and new levels of affordability while increasing overall system performance.” 

For more information about MACOM’s SPAR Tile technology, visit www.macom.com/activeantennas


MACOM is leading the transition of civil and defense radar and communication systems to active antenna technology. Applying innovative, tile-based architectures and modern, commercial manufacturing practices, MACOM is enabling customers to build affordable, scalable radar systems with rapid time to market. 

To learn more about MACOM’s Active Antenna position, click here: http://www.macom.com/activeantennas