GF foundry deal for 6G RF GaN

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By Nick Flaherty

Raytheon Technologies is to license its proprietary gallium nitride (GaN) on silicon technology and technical expertise to Globalfoundries to develop a new process at the GF Fab 9 facility in Burlington, Vermont.

GaN on silicon is an increasingly popular technology for RF and power applications and Raytheon sees this as key for 5G and 6G RF and infrastructure chips. These will be critical for Raytheon’s subsidiaries that include Collins Aerospace, engine maker Pratt & Whitney, Raytheon Intelligence & Space and Raytheon Missiles & Defense.

The GaN process technology will increase RF performance while maintaining production and operational costs, enabling levels of power and power efficiency for 5G and 6G RF millimeter-wave operating frequency standards.

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“Our collaboration with Raytheon Technologies is an important step to ensuring the development and manufacturing capability of solutions for critical future 5G applications,” said GF CEO Tom Caulfield. “This partnership will enable everything from AI-supported phones and driverless cars to the smart grid, as well as governments’ access to data and networks which are essential to national security.”

“Raytheon Technologies was one of the pioneers advancing RF gallium arsenide technology which has been broadly used in mobile and wireless markets, and we have similarly been at the forefront of advancing gallium nitride technology for use in advanced military systems,” said Mark Russell, CTO of Raytheon Technologies. “Our agreement with Globalfoundries not only demonstrates our common goal to make high performance communications technologies available at an affordable cost to our customers it continues to prove how investments in advanced defense technologies can improve lives, as well as defend them.”

The deal has political support for making key chips in the US. “This is a win for Vermont and a win for the United States,” said Senator Patrick Leahy, Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. “This collaboration between a world-class manufacturer and Raytheon Technologies is good news for the nation’s semiconductor supply chain and competitiveness. The technology that will be produced by Vermonters will be a revolution in our lives.”

This collaboration with Raytheon Technologies is the latest of several strategic partnerships for GF and is further evidence of the company’s commitment to redefine the leading-edge by delivering differentiated solutions, while the rest of the industry continues to pursue traditional and increasingly difficult technology scaling.

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