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The Development of Si and SiGe Technologies for Microwave and Millimeter-Wave Integrated CircuitsHistorically, microwave technology was developed by military and space agencies from around the world to satisfy their unique radar, communication, and science applications. Throughout this development phase, the sole goal was to improve the performance of the microwave circuits and components comprising the systems. For example, power amplifiers with output powers of several watts over broad bandwidths, low noise amplifiers with noise figures as low as 3 dB at 94 GHz, stable oscillators with low noise characteristics and high output power, and electronically steerable antennas were required. In addition, the reliability of the systems had to be increased because of the high monetary and human cost if a failure occurred. To achieve these goals, industry, academia and the government agencies supporting them chose to develop technologies with the greatest possibility of surpassing the state of the art performance. Thus, Si, which was already widely used for digital circuits but had material characteristics that were perceived to limit its high frequency performance, was bypassed for a progression of devices starting with GaAs Metal Semiconductor Field Effect Transistors (MESFETs) and ending with InP Pseudomorphic High Electron Mobility Transistors (PHEMTs). For each new material or device structure, the electron mobility increased, and therefore, the high frequency characteristics of the device were improved. In addition, ultra small geometry lithographic processes were developed to reduce the gate length to 0.1 pm which further increases the cutoff frequency. The resulting devices had excellent performance through the millimeter-wave spectrum.
Document ID
Document Type
Reprint (Version printed in journal)
Ponchak, George E.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Alterovitz, Samuel A.
(NASA Lewis Research Center Cleveland, OH United States)
Katehi, Linda P. B.
(Michigan Univ. Ann Arbor, MI United States)
Bhattacharya, Pallab K.
(Michigan Univ. Ann Arbor, MI United States)
Date Acquired
August 19, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 1997
Publication Information
Publication: Directions for the Next Generation of MMIC Devices and Systems
Publisher: Plenum Press
Subject Category
Electronics And Electrical Engineering
Funding Number(s)
Distribution Limits

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