Northrop Grumman has created an integrated circuit amplifier that works operate at one terahertz as part of a three-phase contract with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for transistor-based electronics.
The company said Tuesday its terahertz monolithic integrated circuit is built with an indium phosphide high electron mobility transistor at 25-nanometer gatelength that works to help signals reach the high-frequency terahertz band.
“A decade ago, there was no consensus in the scientific community whether an integrated circuit operating at one terahertz was technologically possible,” said William Deal, program manager for terahertz electronics at Northrop.
“Now, as a result of DARPA’s investment in high-speed transistor processes, it will become routine to fabricate wafers containing thousands of terahertz integrated circuits.”
Northrop said it has also developed circuits that operate at 670 gigahertz and 850 gigahertz within a five-year period under the DARPA contract.
DARPA wants this project to help facilitate developments in high-resolution security imaging systems and advanced collision-avoidance radar, among other technology areas, said Dev Palmer, program manager at DARPA’s microsystems technology office.