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Qorvo has been awarded a four-year contract by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) to lead a team developing a physics-based, unified GaN modeling framework intended to accelerate the design of GaN devices.

In addition to Qorvo, the program, named Engineering Predictable Behavior into GaN Devices Foundational Engineering Problem (FEP), will comprise Modelithics, the University of Padua, NI AWR, HRL and the University of Colorado-Boulder.

The output of the program will be a single tool that unifies physics and device modeling and will simulate device performance and assess reliability, enabling design trade-offs not currently possible. AFRL sees this simulation capability reducing the number of design-build-test iterations, enhancing device reliability, reducing development time and cost.

Delivery of the final, unified modeling framework is planned during 2022.

“This award enables the Air Force to leverage Qorvo’s nearly 20 years of expertise developing the industry’s most reliable, highest performing GaN process. We are proud to be selected by the Air Force to develop this new modeling and simulation tool, which will accelerate advanced GaN designs for mission-critical applications, even as it reduces costs.” — James Klein, president of Qorvo’s Infrastructure and Defense Products segment

GaN’s high power density, leading to high output power and efficiency well into millimeter wave frequencies has made it the preferred semiconductor technology for radar, electronic warfare (EW) and communication systems for military applications. These same advantages are enabling it to gain market share for wireless infrastructure power amplifiers as device cost decreases.