Mercury Systems Unveils Trusted Processing Microchip

By Mandy Mayfield

Mercury Systems photo

A Massachusetts-based aerospace and defense company has developed a new radio frequency processing microchip that could give the Pentagon the ability to reduce the processing time for radar, electronic warfare and 5G communication applications.

Mercury Systems Inc. recently introduced its RFS1080 RF systems package, a high-frequency processing compact chip.

The technology comes at a time when microelectronics is the Defense Department’s top research-and-development priority. “Every soldier is holding a device that is enabled by microelectronics,” said Tom Smelker, vice president and general manager for microsystems at Mercury Systems. “It’s imperative to keep our technology advantaged against our adversaries. How do we do that? Through microelectronics advancement.”

Mercury has the ability to bring microelectronics such as the RFS1080 RF SiP to the Defense Department by partnering with commercial semiconductor companies and adding more capabilities to its products while ensuring a trusted supply chain for the Pentagon, Smelker said. 

The three main applications for the company’s new solution include radars, electronic warfare and 5G communications, Smelker said during an interview.

Adversarial advancements in hypersonics and stealth are driving the need for new radar capabilities, he noted. Meanwhile, driving down processing times will help the Pentagon counter enemy electronic warfare systems.

Increasing processing speeds “where we can process a lot of signals quickly and respond is going to really drive the EW market and really be a game changer for defense systems,” he said.

As 5G wireless networks emerge, integrating solutions such as the RFS1080 RF SiP can also enable near real-time spectrum processing for 5G communications, the company said in a press release. 5G networks are expected to be up to 20 times as fast as 4G.

Mercury is working with the Defense Department in areas where microelectronics can bolster mission-critical applications, but Smelker declined to disclose further details.

Topics: Infotech

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