Over the past decade, DARPA’s investments in the advancement of Gallium Nitride (GaN) technology have helped enable the delivery of high power radio frequency (RF) signals at higher frequencies, bandwidths, and efficiencies. Today, however, a growing number of commercial and military components – from everyday smartphones to RF jammers – are generating a vast amount of RF signals, which is creating an increasingly crowded electromagnetic environment and a need to utilize higher operating frequencies – moving up to millimeter wave (mmW) frequencies. To operate in this complex spectrum environment with large signal-to-noise ratios, next-generation mmW RF systems will require high dynamic range. However, today’s mmW transistor technologies are fundamentally limited by their ability to process RF signals efficiently with large bandwidth and high fidelity at high operating powers.
The Dynamic Range-enhanced Electronics and Materials (DREaM) program seeks to exploit new materials and novel device structures to create RF/mmW transistors that will enable asymmetric operations in a complex electromagnetic spectrum. To achieve its intended goals, DREaM will work to create high dynamic range RF transistors for a diverse set of amplifier applications by developing non-traditional materials, integrating new device structures, and innovating on transistor layouts to attain a 4X higher output power density and 100X better amplifier linearity than the state of the art devices of today.
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