REDONDO BEACH, Calif., Dec. 11, 2007 (PRIME NEWSWIRE) -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has set a new world record for transistor speed with an ultra-fast device that will provide much higher frequency and bandwidth capabilities for future military communications, radar and intelligence applications.

The company has produced and demonstrated an indium phosphide-based High Electron Mobility Transistor (InP HEMT) with a maximum frequency of operation of more than 1,000 gigahertz, or greater than one terahertz. Researchers at Northrop Grumman's Space Technology sector, led by Richard Lai, detailed how they developed the terahertz-speed transistor in a technical paper delivered today at the 2007 International Electron Devices Meeting in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the Electron Devices Society of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers.

"This represents, to the best of our knowledge, the state of the art in high frequency transistor capability," according to Dwight Streit, vice president, Technical Development and Microelectronics Technology at the company's Space Technology sector. "These advancements will enable a new generation of military and commercial applications that operate at higher frequencies with improved performance."

The terahertz transistor is the latest generation in a long line of compound semiconductor products that Northrop Grumman has produced by the millions for government and commercial uses, Streit noted. Tests conducted by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., validated the ultra-fast transistor by measuring a three-stage millimeter wave integrated circuit amplifier at 340 gigahertz with greater than 15 decibel gain.

Development of the terahertz-speed InP HEMT was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Sub-millimeter Wave Imaging Focal-plane Technology program, the U.S. Army Research Laboratory, and internal company funds. Northrop Grumman has more than 30 years of experience developing advanced semiconductor technologies for space applications.

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a $30 billion global defense and technology company whose 120,000 employees provide innovative systems, products, and solutions in information and services, electronics, aerospace and shipbuilding to government and commercial customers worldwide.

  CONTACT:  Diane Murphy
          Northrop Grumman Space Technology