Wireless chip supplier RFHIC has chosen as a vendor for a national project to develop gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor, the company said on Monday.
The project is overseen by the Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy and Ministry of National Defense.
It aims to develop an X-band GaN semiconductor integrated circuit. This monolithic microwave integrated circuit will be a core component of the radar that will be used by KF-X, South Korea’s self-developed fighter jet.
RFHIC will be the lead vendor. SK Siltron will supply the silicon carbide substrate and GaN epi. LIG Nex1 will manufacture the system and oversee verification.
The state-backed Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute will also be offering support, RFHIC said.
The project will also develop Ku-band and Ka-band, besides the X-band. The technology developed can also be applied to 5G equipment and satellite communication.
US is the only country that has developed a supply chain for GaN and succeeded in launching a commercial product. China has its own supply chain, but is yet to produce a product.
According to MarketsandMarkets Research, the worldwide MMIC market (including X-band, Ku-band and Ka-band) is expected to grow from US$2.3 billion in 2019 to US$4.4 billion in 2024.