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TriQuint Wins New $12.3M GaN DARPA Contract to Develop Ultra-Fast Power Switch Technology

TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TQNT), a leading RF solutions supplier and technology innovator, today announced that it has been selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to lead a $12.3 million development program focused on ultra-fast gallium nitride (GaN) switch technology for the Microscale Power Conversion (MPC) program. TriQuint’s revolutionary new GaN modulator has the potential to enable highly-efficient RF transmitters substantially smaller than current solutions.

TriQuint was selected by DARPA as the prime contractor for MPC Technical Area I, which seeks to develop a high-speed, DC-to-DC switch (modulator) and related process technology based on the company’s innovative enhancement-mode GaN transistors. TriQuint’s technology aims to improve the integration of power switches with advanced RF amplifiers to facilitate ultra-high efficiency, reduced-size amplifiers for radar and communications applications.

TriQuint has been a pioneer in GaN development and research since 1999. TriQuint currently leads multiple GaN process and manufacturing technology initiatives for DARPA including the Nitride Electronic NeXt-Generation Technology (NEXT) program as well as endeavors for the US Air Force, Army and Naval laboratories.

TriQuint is already exploring and bringing derivative devices to market made possible by milestones achieved in its many GaN programs. “The break-through performance demonstrated in ‘NEXT’ has helped us develop new devices, like our GaN power switches, that will open up additional radar and communications applications. We can substantially improve performance in these types of systems,” said TriQuint Vice President and General Manager for Defense Products and Foundry Services, James L. Klein. “This work is also leading to lower voltage GaN-based products. We see many exciting opportunities to develop more advanced RF amplifiers with integrated power switches.”

The enhancement mode power switching device for the MPC program will be designed to have a blocking voltage of 200 volts, ultra-low dynamic on resistance of 1 ohm-mm and a slew rate of 500 volts per nanosecond. These capabilities will provide state-of-the-art solid-state technology. RF amplifiers employing these switches will target 75% system efficiency at X-band (8-12 GHz).

TriQuint is teamed with Rockwell Collins, the University of Colorado at Boulder and Northrop Grumman—Technical Area II contractors—to create a new generation of RF power amplifiers that use contour modulation for very high efficiency performance that exceeds the capabilities of devices now available. Design approaches focusing on miniature system-in-a-package or monolithic integration to combine TriQuint’s switch / modulator with the power amplifier micro-system will be given preference.

TriQuint Gallium Nitride Product Innovation, Honors & Resources:

Heritage  

Leader in defense and commercial GaN research since 1999

Research  

Leader in performance and reliability GaN development

University Partners  

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, University of Notre Dame and

University of Colorado at Boulder

The Global GaN Impact  

Strategy Analytics recognizes TriQuint’s GaN R&D / GaN Product Innovation

Active R&D programs  

DARPA NEXT program for highly complex, high frequency GaN MMICs

   

Defense Production Act (DPA) Title III program for GaN on SiC; Radar and

EW MMICs: Air Force and Navy sponsors

   

DARPA Microscale Power Conversion program to develop ultra-fast GaN power

switch technology that is integrated into next-generation amplifiers

   

DARPA Near Junction Thermal Transport (NJTT) GaN program to increase

circuit power handling capabilities through enhanced thermal management

   

Army Research Laboratory (ARL) Cooperative Research and Development

Agreement (CRADA) to jointly develop advanced GaN circuits

Recent Honors  

2011 ‘Compound Semiconductor’ CS Industry Award for DARPA NEXT;

2012 CS Industry Award for DARPA MPC program

GaN Products  

Wide selection of innovative GaN amplifiers, transistors and switches

GaN Foundry  

0.25-micron GaN on SiC; 100mm wafers; DC-18 GHz applications

For more information about TriQuint defense / aerospace products and foundry services, including GaN-based amplifiers, transistors, high-power switches and integrated assembly capabilities, visit us at www.triquint.com/defense, or register to receive product updates and TriQuint’s newsletter.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This TriQuint Semiconductor, Inc. (NASDAQ:TQNT) press release contains forward-looking statements made pursuant to the Safe Harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Readers are cautioned that forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties. The cautionary statements made in this press release should be read as being applicable to all related statements wherever they appear. Statements containing such words as ‘leading’, ‘exceptional’, ‘high efficiency’, ‘key role’, ‘leading supplier’, or similar terms are considered to contain uncertainty and are forward-looking statements. A number of factors affect TriQuint’s operating results and could cause its actual future results to differ materially from any results indicated in this press release or in any other forward-looking statements made by, or on behalf of, TriQuint including, but not limited to: those associated with the unpredictability and volatility of customer acceptance of and demand for our products and technologies, the ability of our production facilities and those of our vendors to meet demand, the ability of our production facilities and those of our vendors to produce products with yields sufficient to maintain profitability, as well as the other “Risk Factors” set forth in TriQuint’s most recent 10-Q report filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. This and other reports can be found on the SEC web site, www.sec.gov. A reader of this release should understand that these and other risks could cause actual results to differ materially from expectations expressed / implied in forward-looking statements.

FACTS ABOUT TRIQUINT

Founded in 1985, TriQuint Semiconductor (NASDAQ:TQNT) is a leading global provider of innovative RF solutions and foundry services for the world’s top communications, defense and aerospace companies. People and organizations around the world need real-time, all-the-time connections; TriQuint products help reduce the cost and increase the performance of connected mobile devices and the networks that deliver critical voice, data and video communications. With the industry’s broadest technology portfolio, recognized R&D leadership, and expertise in high-volume manufacturing, TriQuint creates standard and custom products using gallium arsenide (GaAs), gallium nitride (GaN), surface acoustic wave (SAW) and bulk acoustic wave (BAW) technologies. The company has ISO9001-certified manufacturing facilities in the U.S., production in Costa Rica, and design centers in North America and Germany. For more information, visit www.triquint.com.

TriQuint: Connecting the Digital World to the Global Network®

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