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17 March 2008


IQE wins its largest commercial GaN epiwafer order

TriQuint Semiconductor Inc of Hillsboro, OR, USA has placed the largest commercial gallium nitride (GaN) wafer order in the history of IQE plc of Cardiff, UK.

Scheduled for delivery throughout 2008, the GaN high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) epiwafers will support both TriQuint’s ongoing R&D efforts as well as its roll-out of commercial and military communications power amplifier products later this year. TriQuint’s R&D manager Anthony Balistreri said that because GaN’s performance is superior to existing technologies at higher frequencies, TriQuint’s initial product and process releases will target the 2-20GHz range (covering most commercial and military applications viable in today’s markets).

“IQE’s established track record in providing TriQuint with reliable, high-quality products was a key factor in selecting them to produce and deliver a range of advanced GaN epitaxial materials,” says Balistreri. “We’ve developed a close working relationship with IQE throughout the development phase of our GaN program,” he adds.

“This is a key order for us particularly as our broad product portfolio, which ranges from high volume HEMTs, HBTs and BiFETs to emerging technologies such as GaN epitaxial wafers, provides our customers with a one-stop shop for all their advanced materials needs,” says Alex Ceruzzi, VP and general manager at the IQE RF plant in Somerset, NJ, USA, where the wafers will be made.

IQE RF is the leading GaN HEMT foundry for Microsystems Technology (MTO) programs at the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).

The announcement was made at this week’s GOMACTech 2008 conference in Las Vegas, NV, which brings together microcircuit industry leaders engaged in development work for the US military and other government agencies. Since being awarded a multi-year GaN research development contract of more than $30m by DARPA in 2005, TriQuint says it has made significant discoveries relating to new GaN-based amplifiers.

Specifically, in the presentation ‘Gallium Nitride HEMT Development for Decade-Wide Amplifier Applications’ Balistreri will detail continuing material, device, process and fabrication advances made by TriQuint and partner organizations working on Phase II of the DARPA contract.

Also being presented at the conference are:

  • ‘Long Term Degradation Mechanisms for AlGaN/GaN HFETs’ by Dr Michael Shur of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, with TriQuint co-authors J. Jimenez and Anthony Balistreri, on how modeling techniques have pointed to reasons behind GaN device defects and ways to improve designs to avoid premature failure.
  • ‘High Voltage GaAs pHEMT Technology Provides the Next Step in Power Evolution” by Grant Wilcox, TriQuint’s military standard products manager, on the benefits of high-voltage GaAs devices that increase power density by 60-100% compared to processes typically in use today.
  • ‘Commercial MMIC Packaging Options for High Performance Military Products’ by John M. Beal, TriQuint’s Texas operations packaging manager, on trends in packaging high-performance GaAs monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) for commercial applications that can offer practical alternatives to military systems.

See related items:

IQE’s 54% growth in 2007 drives return to operating profit

Fujitsu’s GaN HEMT-based mobile WiMAX base-station chosen by UQ

TriQuint faces dip in Q1 after record 2007

Search: IQE TriQuint GaN GaN HEMT