© firaxissmooke dreamstime.com General | May 28, 2020
Ozark Integrated Circuits nabs U.S. Air Force grant
Arkansas-based Ozark Integrated Circuits Inc., located in the Arkansas Research and Technology Park at the University of Arkansas, has received a USD 750,000 award from the U.S. Air Force.
The grant will fund the development of electronics packaging and assembly systems for controls in jet engines. Ozark team members will collaborate with U of A’s High Density Electronics Center (HiDEC), including Simon Ang, HiDEC director and professor of electrical engineering; and Silke Spiesshoefer, clinical assistant professor of electrical engineering. Ozark Integrated Circuits CEO Matt Francis said, “We are very excited about this award. It builds on our long-term relationship with the U of A and enables us to build the missing link for the high-temperature chips we’re developing.” With previous support from the Air Force, the researchers built a ceramic-based wiring board that can operate in conditions up to 300 degrees Celsius. Phase 2 will include printing the ceramic boards, to reduce cost, and integrate each one into a smart sensing node, consisting of analog, mixed-signal, digital and power-electronics blocks. Additional Phase 2 plans include building and testing system prototypes that can withstand extreme conditions and converting analog systems to digital, increase processing capabilities and introduce an industry-standard communications link. A feasibility study to prepare the module for the next phase of development will also be completed during Phase 2. Ultimately, the new module will offer increased reliability and cost significantly less to build than current sensing nodes. Two additional grants awarded to Ozark by the U.S. Department of Energy and totaling slightly less than USD 310,000 will enable the company to develop scalable ultraviolet detectors and high-temperature electronics for geothermal wells.