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Tuesday, January 25th, 2022

BAE Systems signs agreement with Air Force to transition semiconductor tech for further enhancement

BAE Systems sealed a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Air Force Research Lab (AFRL) to begin transitioning military-developed semiconductor technology to their Advanced Microwave Products (AMP) Center for enhancement and cost-cutting.

The U.S. Air Force created gallium Nitride (GaN) semiconductors. However, BAE Systems believe they can enhance the technology and bring it down to 6-inch wafers that will slice per-chip costs and improve their accessibility.

“Millimeter-wave GaN technologies today are produced in research and development laboratories in low volumes at high associated costs or in captive foundries that are not broadly accessible to defense suppliers,” Scott Sweetland, Advanced Microwave Products director at BAE Systems, said. “This effort will leverage AFRL’s high-performance technology and BAE Systems’ 6-inch manufacturing capability to advance the state of the art in GaN MMIC performance, reliability, and affordability while providing broader access to this critical technology.”

The technology exists to provide broad frequency bandwidth, high efficiency and high transmit power for radar, electronic warfare and communications systems. BAE Systems hopes to have a new version qualified for production by 2020 and make them available to Department of Defense suppliers through an open foundry service.