US Government Honors Raytheon for GaN Innovations

June 12, 2013 by Jeff Shepard

Raytheon Company was honored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) for successful completion of a Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III Gallium Nitride (GaN) production improvement program, culminating more than a decade of government and Raytheon investment in GaN RF (radio frequency) circuit technology.

"Raytheon has been at the forefront in advancing the maturity and production-readiness of GaN technology, and this recognition reflects our mutual collaboration and achievement, having worked closely with our customers," said Joe Biondi, vice president of Advanced Technology for Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems business. "The limitless benefits of GaN in performance and reliability deliver enhanced capability and affordability to our customers."

Raytheon also demonstrated that the reliability of their GaN technology exceeded the requirement for insertion into production military systems. This maturation of GaN resulted in a Manufacturing Readiness Level (MRL) production capability of "8," the highest level obtained by any organization in the defense industry for this technology. MRL is a measure used by the OSD and many of the world's major companies to assess the maturity of manufacturing readiness.

GaN technology significantly extends the warfighter's reach into the battlespace by increasing radar ranges, sensitivity and search capabilities. Through the Title III program, GaN yield was improved by more than 300 percent and cost was reduced more than 75 percent for Monolithic Microwave Integrated Circuits. A MMIC is a type of integrated circuit device that operates at microwave frequencies (300 MHz to 300 GHz). These devices typically perform functions such as microwave mixing, power amplification, low noise amplification and high frequency switching.

GaN technology also supports a reduction in the size of a system's antenna, which provides flexibility, improves transportability and reduces acquisition and lifecycle costs without sacrificing performance.