Defence outfit Northrop Grumman has set an electronics performance record with a Terahertz Monolithic Integrated Circuit (TMIC) operating at 0.67 terahertz (THz), or 0.67 trillion cycles per second.
Developed at the company's Simon Ramo Microelectronics Center, this performance record more than doubles the frequency of the fastest reported integrated circuit.
William Deal, who is the head of the THz Electronics programme, said that his team's TMIC amplifier is the first of its kind operating at 670GHz.
"A variety of applications exist at these frequencies. These devices could double the bandwidth, or information carrying capacity, for future military communications networks. TMIC amplifiers will enable more sensitive radar and produce sensors with highly improved resolution," said Deal.
The gear will be used for imaging systems, sub-mm-wave ultra-wideband ultra-high-capacity communication links, and sub-mm-wave single-chip widely-tunable synthesizers for explosive detection spectroscopy.
It works by using a transistor amplifier to magnify input signals to yield a significantly larger output signal.