offer substantially improved power and functionality, beyond
current semiconductor technologies. They operate at higher voltage
levels allowing significantly greater power output for the same
size chip. Additionally, the material characteristics of GaN
semiconductors offer efficient multi-band or wideband operation.
According to Mark Russell, IDS' vice president of engineering,
when matured, GaN semiconductors technology will be capable
of delivering up to 10-times higher power levels compared with
the current technology. With enhanced thermal characteristics,
GaN technology enables engineers to trade off increases in range,
sensitivity and search capability for same sized antennas. Alternatively,
radar antenna made of GaN Transmit/Receive (T/R) elements can
reduce the size by half while more than doubling the search
Raytheon Company is developing monolithic microwave integrated
circuits (MMICs) applications of GaN technology 's at the Integrated
Defense Systems (IDS) division. In January 2007 the company
completed 8,000 hours of successful operational testing of Gallium
nitride (GaN) semiconductor monolithic microwave integrated
circuits (MMICs). The tests demonstrated the reliability of
this new technology for high-power applications in military
radar, communications, electronic warfare and missile systems.
Raytheon plans to continue accumulating test hours on these
GaN MMICs and perform an independent concurrent validation of
the testing through 2007.