THOUSAND OAKS, Calif, December 16, 2002. Rockwell Scientific Company LLC (RSC) has received a $5.9 million contract from the U.S. Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center under the sponsorship of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to develop technology for frequency agile digitally synthesized transmitters (TFAST). The transmitters are key components in aircraft and satellite communications systems, and the present program will enable development of chips that directly synthesize higher frequency signals, thereby eliminating costly and bulky frequency multipliers in the transmission chain.
The contract also contains options, which, if exercised, would bring its total cumulative value to $15.8M. A major goal of the program is the development of sub-micron indium phosphide (InP) heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) technology to produce high frequency, direct digital synthesizers and related components with high dynamic range, low phase noise, low DC power, and wide bandwidth.
The technology will enable mixed signal integrated circuits with up to 3 times higher circuit speed and 10 times higher integration operating at one tenth of the power of ICs currently available. In addition to defense applications, the technology will have commercial impact in chips for telecommunication and wireless networks and high-speed test equipment.
Rockwell Scientific will lead a team that includes Global Communications Semiconductor (GCS), University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB), Rockwell Collins, and Boeing Satellite Systems (BSS). "This award enables us to build upon research in HBT technology that has been pioneered at RSC for 12 years," said Dr. Bobby Brar, RSC's Manager of Materials and Devices and the program leader. "With the team we have assembled I am confident that we will achieve our goal of a super-scaled InP HBT technology that provides unparalleled performance with high yield."
Key technical milestones in the program include sub-micron scaling of InP-based devices and development of a novel self-aligned sidewall spacer process to be performed by RSC and GCS. GCS is currently the only pure-play foundry offering a production ready advanced InP HBT technology. In addition, UCSB will develop new techniques to incorporate emitter and base re-growth for the ultimate in sub-micron InP HBT performance. To assist in the development of a useful technology, systems engineers at Rockwell Collins and BSS will work with RSC technologists and mixed-signal designers to provide a top-down roadmap for the technology and to translate the projected improvements into system-level impact.
For more information, visit www.rockwellscientific.com .
Military & Aerospace Electronics