Research database

STARGATE - Stacked power architectures for next generation mobile and space communications in European gallium arsenide technology (STARGATE)

24 months (2025)
Principal investigator(s):
Project type:
PNRR – Mission 4
Funding body:
Project identification number:
PoliTo role:


In the last decades, people are experiencing a technological revolution that is driving them into a future of innovations in most aspects of life. The recent advances in 5G/6G communication systems offer high data-rate and capacity with low latency that will enable potentially revolutionary advancements in telemedicine, virtual reality, IoT, industry 4.0, smart energy, autonomous cars, smart agriculture and more, with great benefit for society and environment. In order to make this revolution a reality, the wireless infrastructure must be hugely expanded, not only on Earth, but also resorting to Space links, and thoroughly rethought, moving on higher carrier frequencies in the millimeter-wave to terahertz range. This scenario will be enabled, among other technologies, by the development of efficient and cost-effective high-frequency integrated circuits. From a practical point of view, this means that we need technologies and architectures able to satisfy the challenging specifications of such integrated circuits in terms of output power, gain, and linearity at such high frequencies and that may operate in Space environment. In this project, we propose to face the problem from the architectural point of view, by developing innovative device structures able to overcome the limitations of the existing ones, relying on a European GaAs technology, which advantages are maturity, linearity, reliability and Space qualification, along with availability of a resilient fully-EU supply chain. Goal of this project is pushing even further the exploitation of GaAs technology, by merging its good high-frequency performance with the innovative architecture known as Stacked Cell, which can become a key enabling solution as higher-voltage/higher-power macro-devices, suitable for replacing single transistors in PA design for the intended applications. The project includes (1) theoretical analysis activities, aimed at investigating the main advantages, design challenges and potential limits/issues of the Stacked cell architecture and of its modeling as a macro-device, as well as developing innovative cell concepts, models and layouts, targeting a significant advancement of knowledge and demonstrating the potential cell capabilities, (2) design activities and MMIC fabrication and (3) experimental characterization activities adopting a commercial EU GaAs process, aimed at model extraction and validation as well as at cell performance assessment in a real technology. Merging advanced design, characterization and modeling capabilities is the main strength of the proposing research team, whose skills cover all the challenging points of the project. The outcomes of the project will lead European foundries in a strategic position, by being the first to develop innovative GaAs solutions for the high-frequency Space market.





ERC sectors

PE7_5 - (Micro and nano) electronic, optoelectronic and photonic components
PE7_3 - Simulation engineering and modelling
PE7_6 - Communication technology, high-frequency technology


Total cost: € 221,718.00
Total contribution: € 221,718.00
PoliTo total cost: € 94,895.00
PoliTo contribution: € 94,895.00