More Efficient GaN - SiGe based MMICs for Communication and Radar Systems

Period of Performance: 09/09/2014 - 04/09/2015


Phase 1 STTR

Recipient Firm

Episensors, Inc.
590 Teritorial Drive Suite H
Bolingbrook, IL -
Principal Investigator
Firm POC

Research Institution

University of Illinois, Chicago
809 S Marshfield RM 608
Chicago, IL 60612
Institution POC

Research Topics


Active Electronic Scanned Array (AESA) radars play a strategic role in surveillance and reconnaissance. A GaN based T/R circuit will be radiation-hard but difficult to integrate with the remainder of the signal chain due to incompatible technologies. SiGe HBT technology, with its high frequency performance and the ability to blend in with CMOS, can act as a bridge between the high frequency III-V based front-end and the CMOS digital processing and control unit. This will also enable module-level digitization using on-chip SiGe-based analog to digital convertors, thereby improving the signal to noise ratio. A hybrid approach that utilizes the robustness of GaN technologies and the CMOS compatibility of SiGe technology is an enabling solution to existing challenges faced in phased array radar receiver designs. Episensors, Inc. in collaboration with University of Illinois at Chicago proposes to develop a GaN-based low noise amplifier and SiGe phased array radar receiver that operates in the C-band. In Phase I of the proposed effort, the major subcircuits of the receiver will be designed. The receiver module will also house an analog to digital convertor based on the SiGe process. In Phase II, we will design, fabricate, characterize, and optimize the receiver circuit.