Mobile Devices

Globalfoundries, Raytheon partner for GaN-based 5G chip

20 May 2021
GF’s Fab 9 will develop and manufacture the new GaN-on-Si semiconductor for 5G. Source: Globalfoundries

Globalfoundries is working with Raytheon Technologies to develop and commercialize gallium nitride on silicon (GaN-on-Si) semiconductors for radio frequency 5G and 6G mobile and wireless infrastructure.

Under the deal, Raytheon will license its GaN-on-Si technology to Globalfoundries, which will then develop a new semiconductor at its Fab 9 facility in Burlington, Vermont.

Because GaN can handle heat and power levels, the technology is able to handle 5G and 6G wireless signals over traditional platforms.

Additionally, GaN offers increased RF performance while keeping operational costs down to meet evolving 5G and 6G millimeter wave (mmWave) operating frequency standards, Globalfoundries said.

According to Wolfspeed, other wide bandgap semiconductor materials used for 5G, such as laterally diffused metal oxide semiconductor (LDMOS), are at the end of their lifespan and GaN-on-Si may have longevity as well as better characteristics for 5G including:

  • Better thermal conductivity.
  • Smaller arrays with the same performance.
  • Robust and hardened for 5G demands.
  • Better efficiency for higher frequencies.
  • Room for improvement and extensions as it is in its nascent stages.
To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com


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