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RTX and DARPA: Revolutionizing Gallium Nitride Technology


The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) awarded the RTX Corporation (formerly Raytheon Company) a four-year, $15 million contract. The goal is to improve radio frequency sensors with revolutionary Gallium Nitride transistors. In comparison to conventional transistors, these high-power-density transistors will have 16 times higher output with this technology without increasing the operating temperature.

The company has already invested in Research and Development (R&D) of Gallium Nitride for almost 25 years. This technology is used in defense systems such as Patriot®, LTAMDS/GhostEye family of radars, APG-79(v)4, and the SPY-6 family of radars. When used in radar systems, this cutting-edge semiconductor technology can improve range and radar resource management handling. Furthermore, diamond will be utilized in the demonstration to increase sensor capability.

As said by the president of Advanced Technology at Raytheon, Colin Whelan, “Our engineers have unlocked a new way to produce Gallium Nitride, where thermal management is no longer a limiting factor,”, adding that “These new system architectures will result in sensors with enhanced range.

The work is part of DARPA’s Technologies for Heat Removal in Electronics at the Device Scale program (THREADS). The company is known as a leader in military-grade Gallium Nitride manufacturing. Moreover, it is also cooperating with the Naval Research Laboratory, Stanford University, and Diamond Foundry, in addition to receiving support from Cornell University, Michigan State University, the University of Maryland, and Penn State University. Headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, the RTX Corporation is the largest aerospace and defense conglomerate in the world, with over 180,000 employees worldwide. In 2022, the company’s sales were $67 billion.

Source: RTX & PR Newswire