High-Reliability Deep Submicron GaAs Pseudomorphic HEMT MMIC Amplifiers
 
D. Leung, Y.C. Chou, J. Scarpulla, R. Kono, R. Lai
D. Eng, P.H. Liu and D.C. Streit
TRW, Inc.

High-reliability performance of a Q-band MMIC amplifier fabricated using TRW's 0.1 µm production AlGaAs/GaAs HEMT process technology is reported. Operating at an accelerated life test conditions of Vds=4.2V and Ids=150mA/mm, two-stage balanced amplifiers were lifetested at three-temperatures (Ta=255ºC, Ta=270ºC, and Ta=285ºC) in air ambient. The activation energy (Ea) is as high as 1.7 eV, achieving a projected median-time-to-failure (MTF) of 6x109 hours at a 125ºC junction temperature. MTF was determined by a 3T constant current stress using | DS21 |> 1.0 dB as the failure criteria. This is the first report of high reliability 0.1 µm GaAs pseudomorphic HEMT MMICs based on small-signal microwave characteristics of HEMT MMIC amplifiers lifetested at high junction temperatures. This result demonstrates a robust 0.1 µm GaAs PHEMT technology highly immune to the stress effects of high electric field and high temperature operation. The high reliability of 0.1 µm GaAs HEMT technology is significant for the both commercial and military applications in the millimeter wave frequency band.