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DARPA Selects Gallium Nitride Components For Future Military Space Systems

For many years, the prevalent element in the semiconductor industry was silicon. Today, gallium arsenide is a semiconductor compound of choice in high electron mobility transistors and light emitting diodes (LEDs) due to its optical and electronic properties. In addition to semiconductor compounds from Groups 3A and 5A (III and V) of the periodic table, researchers are studying the properties of gallium nitride as its ruggedness makes this compound ideal for high power, high temperature and high frequency electronic applications.
Redondo Beach, CA (SPX) Mar 08, 2005
Northrop Grumman has received a contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop electronic components made from gallium nitride, a next-generation semiconductor material system that provides vastly improved communications, radar and intelligence capability to the warfighter.

"This new contract will enable us to transition gallium nitride technology from development to production, just as we have previously transitioned gallium arsenide and indium phosphide technologies from research through development to flight-qualified production for critical government platforms," said Dwight Streit, vice president, Foundation Technologies, at the company's Space Technology sector.

The three-year, $16.5 million contract for the Wide Band Gap Semiconductors for Radio Frequency Applications initiative is potentially valued at $53.4 million if all program options are exercised.

Northrop Grumman began developing this technology in 2002 under a $5.1 million Wide Band Gap Semiconductors Phase 1 contract.

Work for the DARPA program will be performed at the Northrop Grumman Space Technology facility in Manhattan Beach, Calif., and Northrop Grumman Electronic Systems in Baltimore, Md.

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Kionix Ships The World's Smallest High-Performance Tri-Axis Accelerometer
Ithaca NY (SPX) Feb 10, 2005
Kionix has announced first production shipment and general availability of the world's smallest high-performance tri-axis accelerometer, the KXP74. This product measures 5x5x1.2mm, the thinnest tri-axis silicon accelerometer available in the market.

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