The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will host a virtual Proposers Day in support of the Broad Agency Announcement (BAA) HR001123S0013 for the Technologies for Heat Removal in Electronics at the Device Scale (THREADS) program via webcast on November 30, 2022 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time (ET). The purpose of this meeting is to provide information on the THREADS program, promote additional discussion on this topic, address questions from potential proposers, and provide an opportunity for potential proposers to share their capabilities and ideas for teaming arrangements. DARPA anticipates releasing the THREADS BAA HR001123S0013 prior to Proposers Day. If released, the BAA will be made available at https://sam.gov/.
Interested participants must register for the THREADS Proposers Day through the registration website (https://cvent.me/dQlKWD) by November 22, 2022, at 5:00 p.m. ET
Today’s high-power density radio frequency (RF) transistors are thermally limited. The objective of the THREADS program is to develop technologies to overcome the thermal limits and realize robust, highpower density transistors that operate near their fundamental electronic limit of RF output power. In particular, DARPA is looking for innovative transistor-level thermal solutions to maintain reliable transistor channel operating temperatures under high power density operation. DARPA anticipates that this will require reduction of thermal resistance within the intrinsic device (e.g., in the epitaxial layer stack) and outside the intrinsic device (e.g., multi-finger transistor topologies and heat spreading layers and structures next to the intrinsic device). Once developed, the thermal solutions will be used to demonstrate high efficiency, X-band (8-12 GHz) transistors and prototype power amplifier (PA) test vehicles with an 8X reduction in thermal resistance and output power density of 81 W/mm (16X higher than production GaN amplifiers). These transistors and PAs will exhibit reliable operation with a predicted mean-time-to-failure (MTTF) of 106 hours (reliability comparable to today’s production GaN). This level of reliability is required for insertion of the THREADS technology into DoD systems. DARPA anticipates that the most challenging aspects of this program will be developing thermal solutions that do not degrade the superior semiconductor material properties or RF performance (e.g., gain and efficiency) of compound semiconductors, such as the wide bandgap semiconductors.