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2 October 2014

Cree earns US DoD MRL8 designation after completing Title III GaN-on-SiC Production Capacity Program

Cree Inc of Durham, NC, USA has earned the US Department of Defense (DoD) manufacturing readiness level eight (MRL 8) designation.

Awarded for its production of gallium nitride (GaN) monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs), the designation verifies Cree’s ability to provide assured, affordable and commercially viable production capabilities and capacities for items essential to national defense. The designation was granted upon Cree’s completion of the DoD’s Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III Gallium Nitride on Silicon Carbide Production Capacity Program.

“Cree exemplifies the mission-ready capability of a company that the DPA Title III office seeks,” comments Mark Buffler, director, Defense Production Act Title III Program within the Office of the Secretary of Defense. “The key objective of these public-private partnerships is the creation of assured, affordable and commercially viable production capabilities and capacities for products and materials essential for our national defense while strengthening the economic and technological competitiveness of the US defense industrial base,” he adds. 

Led by an integrated program team (IPT) and jointly funded through a public-private partnership effort, the three-year, multi-phase GaN on Silicon Carbide Radar/Electronic Warfare MMIC Production Capacity Project was structured to assess and refine manufacturing processes necessary to support a full-rate MMIC production capability. The IPT consisted of Air Force Research Laboratory Materials and Manufacturing Directorate (AFRL/RX) personnel, Cree engineers and manufacturing experts, and select government consultants. The program was managed by the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense, Manufacturing and Industrial Base Policy (MIBP) and administered by the US Air Force, the executive agent within the DoD. Funded with $18m in direct government funds and $3.5m in Cree funds, the national defense program accounted for a total public-private partnership effort of $21.5m.

Cree says that, since 2010, it has shipped more than 5 million MMICs and devices, making it one of the largest US suppliers of GaN technology for both the DoD and commercial markets. During this time, about 4 billion device hours in the field have been accumulated with an associated industry-leading FIT (failure-in-time) rate of less than 10 failures per 1 billion device hours, validating the robustness of Cree’s manufacturing process and resultant devices under fielded conditions.

“This achievement clearly demonstrates the level of production-readiness that Cree’s GaN manufacturing processes are capable of,” says Dr John Palmour, Cree’s co-founder & chief technology officer, Power and RF.

Cree offers foundry services for development and production using GaN HEMT MMIC processes, providing design and test services on a case-by-case basis.

See related items:

TriQuint first manufacturer to reach Manufacturing Readiness Level 9 for GaN

TriQuint achieves defense production milestones as part of Title III GaN-on SiC EW MMIC Production Capacity program

Tags: Cree GaN HEMT GaN-on-SiC

Visit: www.cree.com/foundry

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