“Pilot line production of transceiver modules for the next generation of smart RF power applications“
H2020 Fast-Track-to-Innovation project to start a dedicated pilot line of innovative transceiver RF-power modules for mass applications. (Project n° 869817 – H2020-EIC- FTI-2018-2020)
SMARTEC aims to implement a new generation of RF power modules based on a monolithic integration of coplanar GaN MMIC and capacitive RF-MEMS switches for higher integration, higher performances and lower cost production.A pilot line production will be dedicated for the fabrication these T/R modules based to address the needs of European markets.
SMARTEC proposes to raise a unique Power-RF nanoelectronics innovation, that will radically transform future transceiver RF-power modules (TRX) and to produce them through a dedicated pilot line. These novel TRX of enhanced performance, smaller size and lower manufacturing cost will be core components of new products, addressing several segments of the RF-power market. SMARTEC paves the way to its stakeholders to access new markets and/or help them sustain their positioning in their industry rivalry, as well as increase their market shares. Moreover, SMARTEC will create new value propositions to several other markets (airliners, airports, air & sea vessel manufacturers, tour operators, etc.), as well as to several customer & social groups (passengers, tourists, ecologists & government bodies). The proposed pilot line will fill a gap in the European landscape of power RF manufactures and help European firms using power RF front ends compete global players. Industry faces 2 challenges:
- In general, upcoming power RF front end markets (e.g. commercial radars, backhaul, SATCOM) demand more and more higher power levels, higher frequencies, the ability to sustain power-ups, and all at smaller size and lower cost.
- Two specific “RF-Power Systems-based industry”, those of Avionics and Maritime, are about to face an obligatory adaption to new or updated strict EU regulations (RECAT EU3 & COLREGS), regarding, Airport and maritime Safety.
The proposed coplanar monolithic GaN MMICs and RF MEMS product is addressing simultaneously all aforementioned industry problems, while all other competing technologies (commercially available or not) offer partial solutions. Furthermore, the simplified SMARTEC fabrication process alleviates back-end production steps thus lowering cost by 25% which for mass applications (e.g. 5G) can prove the key winning factor.
THALES SA, France COORDINATOR
RF microtech s.r.l. Italy
Foundation for Research and Technology FORTH, Greece
TAIPRO ENGINEERING, Belgium
Official Project Page