Electronic Design

Northrop Grumman Develops Terahertz Transistor

Northrop Grumman Corporation has developed a terahertz-speed transistor that will increase frequency and bandwidth capabilities for future military communications, radar, and intelligence applications. The indium phosphide-based High Electron Mobility Transistor (InP HEMT) has a maximum frequency of operation of more than 1,000 gigahertz, or greater than one terahertz. Researchers from Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector detailed their work in a paper delivered at the 2007 International Electron Devices Meeting in Washington, D.C. NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory validated the ultra-fast transistor by measuring a three-stage millimeter wave integrated circuit amplifier at 340 gigahertz with greater than 15 decibel gain. "This represents, to the best of our knowledge, the state of the art in high frequency transistor capability," Dwight Streit, vice president of technical development and microelectronics technology at the company's Space Technology sector, said in a statement. DARPA's Sub-millimeter Wave Imaging Focal-plane technology program and the U.S. Army Research Laboratory provided funding for the project.

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