Military Embedded Systems

T-MUSIC program to develop integrated mixed-mode RF electronics


February 07, 2020

Emma Helfrich

Technology Editor

Military Embedded Systems

T-MUSIC program to develop integrated mixed-mode RF electronics

WASHINGTON. To advance radio frequency (RF) mixed-mode interfaces beyond current limitations, DARPA established the Technologies for Mixed-mode Ultra Scaled Integrated Circuits (T-MUSIC) program. T-MUSIC was first announced as a part of the second phase of DARPA’s Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI), and the program has selected nine research teams from academic institutions, as well as commercial companies, to take on the program’s research objectives.

Despite continued advancement, complementary metal oxide semiconductor platforms are unable to support operations at higher frequencies with larger signal bandwidths and higher resolutions, limiting their usage in modernization efforts. One area of research under ERI Phase II focuses on the integration of photonics and RF components directly into advanced circuits and semiconductor manufacturing processes.

As such, T-MUSIC will explore the integration of mixed-mode electronics into advanced onshore semiconductor manufacturing processes with the goal to develop integrated RF electronics with a combination of wide spectral coverage, high resolution, large dynamic range, and high information processing bandwidth. Further, the program will work to establish a domestic ecosystem that can facilitate enduring DoD access to high-performance RF mixed-mode SoCs.

Five research teams will work to develop and implement broadband RF mixed-mode circuit designs. The research teams selected include BAE Systems, Raytheon, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), University of California, San Diego, and University of Utah. These teams will collaborate with two foundry partners, Global Foundries and TowerJazz, and a third group of researchers from UCLA and UC Berkeley will explore foundational breakthroughs in ultra-broadband transistors.


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