State researchers to develop gallium nitride integrated circuit for military radars

Park Sae-jin Reporter() | Posted : July 22, 2021, 15:39 | Updated : July 22, 2021, 15:39

[Courtesy of ETRI]

SEOUL -- A state research institute will work with a domestic semiconductor supplier to develop and commercialize a gallium nitride integrated circuit for military radars. South Korea has been dependent on foreign circuits that are used in high-performance radars. The goal is to offer a foundry service using a localized integrated circuit production technique.

Thanks to the high energy density and voltage breakdown limits, gallium nitride (GaN) is used as a key part of power amplification devices for mobile communication equipment and high-performance military equipment. However, such devices are heavily regulated by international export laws.

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) partnered with RFHIC, a domestic semiconductor supplier, to develop and commercialize a gallium nitride integrated circuit. ETRI and RFHIC will set up a joint lab and receive state funding for five years.

The development of the new circuit will be based on a monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) which has been developed by ETRI. "The development capabilities of a state institute will be interlinked with a private company's mass production abilities to localize and mass-produce integrated circuits," the institute said in a statement on July 22.
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