Investigation of processing modules to establish a mm-wave foundry process for space applications
GaN is a breakthrough material offering huge enhancements in power amplifier performance. Favourable material properties like a combination of a wide band gap, high breakdown field and operating voltage, high thermal conductivity, high temperature operation and inherent radiation hardness enable very high RF output powers at high frequencies up to at least 130 GHz. GaN devices find and will find applications in several space segments: earth observation, navigation, telecommunications, mobile communications and multimedia. It has to be expected that GaN devices will replace a fraction of the GaAs devices in the power amplification and SSPA market segment. With the publication of the 0.15 mm process by Triquint in 2013 the stage was set for the industrial development of GaN-devices for space application. In parallel strong programs have been carried out in the US. This paper presents activities in the frame of the ESAmmWGaNproject (ESA-Tender T123-401QT ""Investigation and preliminary characterization of component building blocks needed to establish a European mm-wave GaN foundry process"") for Ka-Band up to V-Band operation.