DARPA creates solid state receiver that operates at 0.85 terahertz

ARLINGTON, Va., 4 Aug 2012. In an effort to create advanced communication and sensor systems, DARPA has designed a solid state receiver that demonstrates gain at 0.85 terahertz (THz). This was created as part of DARPA's THz electronics program, the goal of which is to enable transistor-based electronics that will operate at THz frequencies.

Imaging, radar, spectroscopy, and communications systems operating in the millimeter wave sub-MMW frequency bands have been difficult to create due to a lack of effective means to generate, detect, process, and radiate the necessary high frequency signals. In order to control and manipulate radiation in this portion of the RF spectrum, electronics need to be developed that can operated at frequencies past 1 THz.

The sub millimeter wave (sub-MMW) frequency band begins at frequencies above 300 gigahertz (GHz) where the wavelengths become less than 1 mm. Until recently, active electronics using solid-state technologies were unable to access sub-MMW frequencies directly due to poor transistor performance. The compromise for electronic options was to use frequency conversion to multiply circuit operating frequencies up from millimeter wave frequencies. This approach limited the output power level of the devices and the achievable signal-to-noise ratio while also restricting the devices to larger sizes in terms of footprint and weight. These restrictions prevented widespread implementation and the subsequent exploitation of the sub-MMW frequency band. The enabling technology necessary to exploit the sub-MMW band is monolithic microwave integrated circuits (MMICs) that will operate up to THz frequencies. These THz MMICs, or TMICs, require THz transistors with maximum oscillation frequencies (fmax) above 1 THz.

The objective of DARPA's terahertz (THz) electronics program is to develop the critical device and integration technologies necessary to realize compact, high-performance electronic circuits that operate at center frequencies exceeding 1.0 THz.

Military & Aerospace Photos

Most Popular Articles

Wire News provided by   

social activity


Meeting the Gen3 backplane challenge with OpenVPX and COTS

Tight Pentagon budgets mean military systems must stay in the field for longer than ever before. This doesn't mean obsolete technology, however. Today's military electronics are being upgraded constantly, an...
Sponsored by:

Digital signal processing for signals intelligence and electronic warfare

Military & Aerospace Electronics presents an expert Webcast on the design considerations for blending general-purposes processors (GPUs), general-purpose graphics processors (GPGPUs), field-programmable ...
Sponsored by:

Design Strategy Considerations for DO-178C Certified Multi-core Systems

Join Wind River to learn how system architecture and design choices can minimize your DO-178C certification challenges.

Sponsored by:

All Access Sponsors

View the 2014 Buyer's Guide Now!

Mil & Aero Magazine

January 2015
Volume 26, Issue 1

Download Our Apps




Follow Us On...


Military & Aerospace Electronics

Weekly newsletter covering technical content, breaking news and product information

Defense Executive

Monthly newsletter covering business news and strategic insights for executive managers

Electronic Warfare

Quarterly newsletter covering technologies and applications in electronic warfare, cyber warfare, optical warfare, and spectrum warfare.

Embedded Computing Report

Monthly newsletter covering news on embedded computing in aerospace, defense and industrial-rugged applications

Unmanned Vehicles

Monthly newsletter covering news updates for designers of unmanned vehicles