Microwave Journal

BAE Systems Advancing World-Class Microelectronics Tech for Defense Community

October 1, 2019

BAE Systems has completed the first phase of a program to transfer short-gate GaN MMIC technology developed by the U.S. Air Force to its Advanced Microwave Products (AMP) center in Nashua, New Hampshire; the effort now moves to the second phase.

At the end of phase 2, this process will be available to designers through an open foundry service, making the technology available for government programs.

The short-gate GaN process provides high efficiency and broad bandwidth that can be integrated into next-generation radar, electronic warfare and communications systems.

During phase 2, BAE Systems’ FAST Labs™ research and development team and the AMP Center will ready the technology for production, scaling the 140 nm GaN process to 6 in. wafers and increasing the manufacturing maturity, which includes optimizing performance, ensuring process stability and maximizing wafer-to-wafer uniformity and wafer yields.

ENGIN-IC, a custom MMIC design company, will support the phase 2 program, including validating the process design kit.

“GaN technology fills a unique need for the Department of Defense for low-cost, high performance amplifier technology, and phase 2 of this effort brings us one step closer to successfully manufacturing and bringing AFRL’s technology to market.” — Chris Rappa, product line director for Radio Frequency, Electronic Warfare and Advanced Electronics at BAE Systems FAST Labs

BAE Systems is researching and advancing microelectronic technologies, including GaN, in its 70,000 square foot Microelectronics Center (MEC) in Nashua. The MEC has been an accredited DoD Category 1A Trusted Supplier since 2008, fabricating MMICs in production for DoD programs.