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Ohio State alumni earn $50,000 to create Air Force 5G electronics


A Columbus-based technology business launched by graduates from The Ohio State University Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) graduate program continues earning support.

SenseICs recently won a $50,000 contract to develop 5G electronics technology from AFWERX, which is a United States Air Force program fostering a culture of innovation within the service.

The company provides integrated circuit designs focused on next-generation imaging and radio frequency (RF) sensors and systems. The new AFWERX contract follows a previous $200,000 award from the Air Force Research Laboratory to develop a broadband power amplifier integrated circuit for use in secure 5G applications.

ECE alumnus Ramy Tantawy became the co-founder and CEO of SenseICs as a Ph.D. candidate at the ElectroScience Laboratory with ECE Professor Waleed Khalil's Circuit Laboratory for Advanced Sensors and Systems (C.L.A.S.S.) group. The team also includes co-founder and Ohio State Research Scientist Shane Smith and Ohio State ECE Professor Patrick Roblin


"The future is 5G, and we’re excited to be part of that future while supporting the mission of our Armed Forces,” Tantawy said. “The 5G technology that we will bring to AFWERX will be revolutionary for many defense and commercial applications, and we are looking forward to expanding our customer base with the Department of Defense."

As part of the AFWERX award, SenseICs will conduct research and development to advance the design of a 5G electronics component, called a power amplifier, that can operate across a large range of telecommunications network frequency bands. Electronics that include this component can switch and operate efficiently across radio, conventional, and 5G networks, a capability that is not currently available.

Smith has served on the staff at Ohio State for 22 years and is also the president of SenseICs. He earned his Ph.D. conducting research at the Physics Department at Ohio State and now serves on the staff at the ElectroScience Laboratory.

The Buckeye spin-off company is unique in Ohio because of its focus on semiconductors.

"The semiconductor industry is a valuable and growing part of the American economy, and we are proud to be doing innovative work and attracting top talent to central Ohio," Smith said. "As the semiconductor industry gets increasing federal attention, we are ready to help meet demand needs with chips designed at home."

This most recent contract builds on SenseICs’ earlier successes winning more than $1.2 million in Phase I and Phase II small business innovation research awards from the United States Army. SenseICs contracts with the Army and Air Force are to design and develop microelectronics and integrated circuits domestically.

by Ryan Horns, Ohio State ECE/IMR Communications Specialist

Category: Alumni