RF Micro Devices set to boost the efficiency of GaN circuits

RF Micro Devices, a designer and manufacturer of radio-frequency components and compound semiconductor technologies, has been awarded a $2.1m (£1.3m) contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to enhance the thermal efficiency of gallium nitride (GaN) circuits used in high-power radar and other military systems.

The contract award is in association with the Near Junction Thermal Transport (NJTT) effort of DARPA’s Thermal Management Technologies (TMT) programme. The goal of the NJTT initiative is to achieve a 3x or greater improvement in power handling from GaN power amplifiers through the improved thermal management of the near-junction region.

By combining thermally enhanced diamond substrates with its GaN-on-SiC technology, RF Micro Devices expects to significantly improve power density and power-handling capability.