SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Assembly Line

How This Startup Cut Production Costs of Millimeter Wave Power Amplifiers

Date:

Author: Kathy Pretz

Topics: Additive Manufacturing

Organizations: Elve, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory

Diana Gamzina is on a mission to drastically reduce the price of millimeter-wave power amplifiers. The vacuum-electronics devices are used for communication with distant space probes and for other applications that need the highest data rates available.

The amplifiers can cost as much as US $1 million apiece because they’re made using costly, high-precision manufacturing and manual assembly. Gamzina’s startup, Elve, is using advanced materials and new manufacturing technologies to lower the unit price.

It can take up to a year to produce one of the amplifiers using conventional manufacturing processes, but Elve is already making about one per week, Gamzina says. Elve’s process enables sales at about 10 percent of the usual price, making large-volume markets more accessible.

Read more at IEEE Spectrum