Experience / Case Studies
Driving GaN to New Heights
KCB Solutions will now be offering GaN products to support compliance to NASA EEE-INST-002 testing requirements for Space applications. As part of this effort, KCB will offer bare die with MIL-PRF-38534 Class K Element Evaluation and products in both Hermetic and PEM packages tested in accordance to MIL-PRF-38534 Class K and MIL-PRF-19500 JANS requirements. KCB has completed Total Ionization Dose radiation testing on the Wolfspeed® CGH40025F HEMT Transistor as well as the CMPA801B025F 25W MMIC Amplifier.
Featuring the Technologies You Need Today
By combining AS9100 procedures with today’s most advanced microwave semiconductor technologies, KCB ensures you the highest performance and workmanship. We’re military and hi-rel experts and are deeply experienced in GaAs and GaN, as well as hermetic SMT packaging approaches utilizing thermally enhanced materials including LTCC, HTCC, and AlN.
Achievements in Space
With ever-increasing payload costs, satellite manufacturers must ensure that the products they are putting in orbit will function properly for many years. These requirements translate to a need for devices that exhibit exceptional reliability and performance. Furthermore, these devices must be screened to demanding specifications with excellent yield. KCB has a long history of supplying S-Level product screened per MIL-PRF-38534 Class K (multi-chip hybrids) and MIL-PRF-38535 Class S (single chip), with an excellent reputation for on-time delivery and low cost. Coupled with our component management resources, we are able to support long-running space programs for the commercial and defense industries, and help minimize obsolescence risk throughout the life of any program.
KCB's Space Heritage Includes:
- Several classified programs
Case Study: Turning 20-piece parts and their wire bonds into 2 SMT components and allowing a downconverter to go hands-free.
The entire front-end of a customer’s downconverter design was a chip-and-wire approach with over 20 components, while the back-end was entirely SMT. This mixture of assembly processes led to increased product manufacturing cycle time as well as lower throughput. Drawing from our diverse IC supply base, KCB selected devices from 4 unique suppliers to match the performance of the chip-and-wire design and replace the entire front-end with two surface mount components: a double-pole, double-throw switch, and a switched amplifier. These modules employed multi-layered, high temperature, co-fired ceramic surface mount packages that exhibit exceptionally low loss RF performance to 20 GHz. For added efficiency, an integrated MMIC switch also replaced a discrete switch. By reducing the parts count by 90 percent, the customer was able to implement a single SMT assembly process which greatly improved product throughput. In addition, since every device was fully tested and screened, first pass yield was improved dramatically.
Case Study: Going weightless to meet the demands of phased array.
A military customer with an eye on the AESA market and an internal foundry capability needed a packaging expert to support them with a custom hermetic solution. The device was a multi-chip module with driver, featuring on-board DPS and DVA capability, followed by a PA stage. KCB designed a multi-layer HTCC hermetic package with an eye on heat dissipation while allowing the customer to access all their phase shifter and attenuator controls via TTL.
Using our innovative weightless gold/tin euctectic die attach method, KCB was able to mount each die simultaneously while ensuring and maintaining void-free attachment. This allowed KCB to meet the high volume demands of the phased array application while maintaining the quality of the device via void-free attachment.
Case Study: A satellite switch loses its driver and KCB gets behind the wheel.
A long-running space satellite program was running dangerously low on their RF switches and the supplier was no longer supporting it. Building on previous relationships, KCB gained access to the ICs for the SPST and SPDT switch as well as the hermetic packages for all three products in the legacy program. The reverse engineering was relatively straightforward, but there was a catch — the radiation-hardened CMOS driver circuit was no longer available for the SP4T switch. With our understanding of the design approach, KCB was able to quickly develop an alternative driver that met the requirements, was also RadHard, and could be screened to the MIL-PRF-38534 Class K specifications. KCB delivered the product on time and at a total program cost far lower than the competition.