In the News

  • Developing a new sensor, component, or system is complicated. While modeling and simulation inform your design, there is no substitute for a prototype tested in the relevant environment. To get there, Ozark IC is lowering the barrier to your system feasibility questions in Extreme Environments using unique additive technology. Featured recently in Advancing Microelectronics, our quick turn (QT) systems can go from idea to test in as little as 24 hours – a true game changer for rugged electronics.

  • High-Temperature silicon carbide wafer with Ozark IC designed integrated circuits (Photo courtesy of General Electric Aerospace Research Center)

    A 6-member team, led by Ozark IC, has been selected for a DARPA HOTS award to develop an 800ºC electronic pressure sensing system that will raise the system performance by a factor of 1000 over existing solutions FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS April 2024 – A 6-member team led by Ozark Integrated Circuits Inc. (Ozark IC) in Fayetteville, AR, has been selected for a $10.9M, three-year DARPA HOTS award. The award will allow the team to develop a high-speed (1 MHz), high-temperature (up to 800ºC) electronic pressure sensing system – which represents orders of magnitude speed increase over the current state-of-the art. DARPA’s HOTS (High Operational Temperature Sensors) Program https://www.darpa.mil/news-events/2023-05-12 is a premier program with its major aim to “develop microelectronic sensor technologies capable of high-bandwidth, high-dynamic-range sensing at extreme temperatures” which are critical for emerging high-speed aerospace systems, especially hypersonic flight systems. The Proposer’s Day, held on May 31, 2023, in Washington, DC, attracted about 130 attendees. The HOTS program consists of three significant and simultaneous challenges, each of them extremely difficult on their own: operation at 2 orders-of-magnitude better performance over the state-of-the-art at the very high temperature of 800⁰C without thermal management and a short development time (3 years) to create it. The aggressive timeline put a significant emphasis on the use of existing capabilities rather than long-term research. The team developed a unique and complex approach to meet all three challenges – consistent with DARPA’s mission “to make pivotal investments in breakthrough technologies for national security”. https://www.darpa.mil/about-us/mission The Ozark IC team consists of: Ozark IC RTX (Raytheon Technologies Research Center and Raytheon Advanced Technology) GE Aerospace Research Center (GEA) IC2 (Interdisciplinary Consulting Corp) NASA Glenn Research Center (NASA GRC) US Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) Ozark IC, as program lead, is managing the system integration as well as electronics design, process integration and extreme environment packaging. Ozark IC will work closely with its partners who will provide the high-speed pressure sensor (IC2), the fabrication of the devices and integrated circuits (RTX, GEA), and specialized materials and characterization (NASA, NRL). Significance of the Project: The HOTS program, like many DARPA programs, aims to advance the state of the art: not incrementally, but by orders of magnitude. The Ozark IC solution, referred to as SPOTS (Single-chip Pressure-Sensor on Thermally-Hardened SiC:GaN) advances the state of the art by combining the ruggedness of NASA Glenn pioneered silicon carbide (SiC) chip technology with the high-performance of gallium nitride (GaN) and other advanced materials. This marks a new era in high-temperature (HT) electronics and integration methods, at the semiconductor level, where very high frequency performance is made possible through utilizing new materials in a manufacturable way – from analog to RF and digital. The effect of this technology will be revolutionary in a wide range of applications and markets, not just the DoD and hypersonic applications: Jet engines can be lighter, smaller and better maintained Engines (ships, tanks, cars, etc.) can be lighter, smaller and better maintained Energy exploration can work deeper and hotter Next-generation nuclear reactors can be safer and better maintained and monitored These are just some of the benefits. A whole new, safer high-temperature world awaits. Dr. A. Matt Francis, CEO and Founder of Ozark IC, said, “In many ways this project is the culmination of over a decade of work at Ozark IC and at our partners to open up new frontiers for electronics. We are naturally thrilled with this award, and we are very grateful to DARPA for the faith they have shown in this amazing team. The support we have received from the team members, and others, has been overwhelming and is greatly appreciated. This is the largest award Ozark IC has received in its 13-year history and we are naturally looking forward to this project and see great things happening as a result.” Arkansas Secretary of Commerce Hugh McDonald, said “This award demonstrates that Arkansas companies compete at the highest level in advancing the state of the art. We build some of the most advanced aerospace, aviation and defense products in the US, and the advanced electronics being developed by Ozark IC and its partners can enable the next generations.” Congressman Steve Womack (AR-3) said, “Ozark IC’s leadership in putting this team together and winning this ground-breaking award is an excellent example of the innovative research happening in the Third District. The technology they are developing will greatly impact jet and hypersonic engine capabilities. This award reflects the importance of these revolutionary systems. It’s great to see these organizations, large and small businesses, and government laboratories coming together to build this research and development partnership in the Natural State.” Dr. David Mills, President of IC2, said, “The HOTS program is the next logical step for our high-performance pressure sensors – an integrated platform for ultra-high-temperature, miniaturized sensors and electronics. This will open up new applications and markets for us, and we’re very excited to be part of the Ozark IC team!” Colin Whelan, President of Advanced Technology at Raytheon, said, “Extreme temperature condition sensing is critical to the operation of military and commercial aircraft. Jet engine and hypersonic vehicle’s operating temperatures well-exceed the capability of today’s sensors in vital locations. In partnership with Ozark IC, RTX is leveraging our enterprise-wide expertise and our III/V semiconductor foundry to develop sensors that deliver accurate state-of-health monitoring and enable closed-loop system control for improved fuel efficiency, operability and lethality.” Stacey Kennerly, Technology Manager, Semiconductors, GE Aerospace Research, said, “We’re thrilled to be partnering with Ozark IC to develop the next generation of high temperature electronics to support defense needs and transform the future of flight. As we look to advance hypersonic propulsion and push the boundaries of space exploration, we will need the kind of ruggedized sensors and electronics that the DARPA HOTS program is driving.” About Ozark Integrated Circuits Inc. Ozark Integrated Circuits, Inc (Fayetteville, AR) was founded in 2011. Ozark IC’s mission is to “digitize” the next frontiers – extreme environments that are very hot or cold, with extreme

  • The Energy Venture Day and Pitch Competition co-hosted by Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship, Houston Energy Transition Initiative (HETI), and TEX-E is an exciting, fast-paced event that brings together 40+ energy ventures with investors, corporations, and the energy community. We were selected as a participating energy venture and look forward to sharing more about our company. You have two opportunities to see our pitch. At CERAWeek, join us on March 20th in the Innovation Agora. On 3/19, see us at the Ion Houston for the Pitch Preview (free to attend). For more info and to register: alliance.rice.edu/evd

  • Ozark IC is excited to be selected to participate in the DARPA Disruptors Summit and Showcase at this year’s Defense TechConnect Summit, Nov 28 and 29 in Washington, DC. Come by and see a live demo of our XNode® technology developed in part with DARPA support. https://events.techconnect.org/DTCFall/program.html#detailed

  • CEO Matt Francis looks forward to presenting at a dynamic IEEE WiPDA US 2023 workshop representing Ozark Integrated Circuits, Inc. #Widebandgap continues to make strides in power for greening our grid/transportation and moving us beyond silicon in adjacent spaces like rugged devices. CEO Francis and fellow panelists will discuss the opportunities of WBG in agriculture, EV charging, energy exploration, and aerospace. https://wipda.org/

  • Ozark IC is excited to announce that Matt Francis, its Founder, President and CEO, will be giving a Lightning Talk on High Temperature Electronics at the upcoming DARPA Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI 2.0) Summit to be held in Seattle on August 22-24, 2023. ERI is pursuing focused research in two basic areas: 1) Manufacturing complex 3D microsystems and 2) Developing electronics for extreme environments. In many emerging aerospace applications, high temperature is the intersection of these worlds, and Dr. Francis will speak on the state of the art, the opportunities and the challenges to enabling next-generation #energy and #aerospace applications.

  • Ozark IC will be in attendance at GOMACTech-23 March 20-23, 2023 in San Diego, CA. Our booth in the exhibition area will feature our latest XNode™ single-board computer products and services. You can also find us at the Wednesday session on thermally hardened electronics, where CEO Dr. Matt Francis will present our work on scaling electronics to extreme environments, from 200 ℃ to 800 ℃. Session Info: https://www.scomminc.com/pcm/collectsubmissions/sessionList.cfm?CFID=1791338&CFTOKEN=272a392ce57f5761-A0390255-0A0A-669F-795D42DA962BDF72  

  • Ozark Integrated Circuits, Inc. (Ozark IC) has been named a finalist in the Arkansas Business Journal’s annual Arkansas Business of the Year Award, in the new Innovation Pacesetter category. The Innovation Pacesetter award honors start-up or existing companies that are remaking an old industry or charting an entirely new course to create a new market. Ozark IC will attend the awards ceremony in Little Rock, Arkansas on March 8, 2023. https://www.arkansasbusiness.com/events/3/aboy

  • An Ozark IC XNode (TM)

    Cash prizes total $165k plus a $75k voucher for use with DOE partner, AltaRock Energy FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS January 2023 – Ozark Integrated Circuits Inc.’s approach to high-temperature electronics recently received major accolades from two separate competitions in early December, as well as recognition of the efforts of its team and founder with an award from an important industry group. While the $165,000 in cash prizes plus $75,000 in vouchers to further their work is significant, Ozark IC Founder and President Dr. Matt Francis said the recognition of its work is even more valuable. “What is really significant for us is the validation that these awards provide, as well as the opportunity to improve our product lines by working closely with our customers,” he said. “We are of course, very pleased with the cash awards, but the validation of the hard work that our team has done is the greatest reward.” The first award came December 2, when the Geothermal Technologies Office (GTO), which is in the U.S. Department of Energy, announced that Ozark IC was one of 10 semi-finalists of the GTO Geothermal Geophone Prize with Ozark’s project, entitled “High-Temperature Seismology: High-Temperature LVDT-based Geophone.” In this Phase 1 of the competition, each semifinalist team was awarded a $75,000 cash prize in addition to $75,000 in vouchers to use with an industry expert or national laboratory to advance their project. In Phase 1 of the Prize, teams identified and developed initial concepts for high-temperature, downhole seismic sensors. Ozark IC will use its $75,000 in vouchers to collaborate with AltaRock Energy Inc., a geothermal exploration company that is registered as a DOE “Connector.” In Phase 2, which opened December 3, teams will advance their concepts and demonstrate the promise of their designs. Through a three-phase competition, the Geothermal Geophone Prize will help spur innovation in seismic sensors for use in geothermal environments, which will support the expansion of geothermal deployment. “We at AltaRock Energy are excited to work with Ozark IC again on such an important project in the field of high-temperature electronics,” said Dr. Geoffrey Garrison, Vice President of Research and Development at AltaRock Energy. “I’m looking forward to helping bring the next phase of this idea to life.” https://www.energy.gov/eere/geothermal/articles/hear-ye-hear-ye-gto-announces-geophone-prize-semifinalists The second award, the U.S. Army’s xTechManufacture Prize, was announced December 8 at the Defense Manufacturing Conference in Tampa, Fla. In this Prize, Ozark IC’s entry, entitled “Rapid Deployment of Hypersonic Systems using High Temperature Control XNodes®”, won second place, which earned them $75,000. There were more than 100 entrants, which were then narrowed to 10 finalists. Each finalist received $15,000 to make their presentation at the conference, as well as have a booth to show their technologies to representatives from the Department of Defense and industry. This brings the total cash award to $90,000. https://www.xtech.army.mil/announcement/awards-joint-defense-manufacturing-technology-solutions/ The third award was to Dr. Francis from IEEE-USA.  Dr. Francis was awarded the 2022 IEEE-USA Entrepreneur Achievement Award for Leadership in Entrepreneurial Spirit.  This award recognizes an IEEE member who has been instrumental in furthering both entrepreneurial growth and spirit in the United States.  The dedication for this award was “For entrepreneurship through Ozark Integrated Circuits and for inspiring future STEM innovators through mentoring”.  In addition to his work at Ozark IC, Dr. Francis has long volunteered for IEEE, hosting a weekly robotics club at his local library and currently serves as a Region Director, Elect, for IEEE Region 5 (the US Southwest). https://ieeeusa.org/2022-ieee-usa-awards-recipients/ About Ozark Integrated Circuits Inc. Ozark Integrated Circuits, Inc (Fayetteville, AR). was founded in 2011. Ozark IC’s mission is to bring the internet of things to everywhere it isn’t; anywhere hot, cold or in extreme vibration/radiation.  Ozark IC brings computing to the edge in the extreme conditions experienced in Energy Exploration, Aerospace, Space Exploration and Industrial Controls. Ozark IC’s solutions include hardware and software, integrated circuits, and packaging. Ozark IC’s strategy and technology have led industry watchers to recognize Ozark IC as a disruptive player in the rugged electronics marketplace. https://www.ozarkic.com/ About AltaRock Energy AltaRock Energy develops and commercializes geothermal technology to produce clean, renewable power. Founded in 2007 and headquartered in Seattle, AltaRock Energy, Inc. is a full-service geothermal energy technology and services company. AltaRock’s experienced team, innovative technology, and creative approach turns under-performing assets into highly profitable energy projects, building and operating the geothermal power plants of the future. www.altarockenergy.com.

  • An Ozark IC XNode (TM)

    Ozark IC to use its high-temperature technology for a health monitoring instrument for next-generation nuclear reactors FAYETTEVILLE, ARKANSAS February 2022 – Ozark Integrated Circuits, Inc. (Ozark IC), a Fayetteville-based leader in rugged electronics, recently earned a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The final one-year contract is still in negotiations and is expected to be nearly $200,000. Ozark IC will use its high-temperature technology to develop a high-temperature health-monitoring instrument that measures the state of molten salts used in molten-salt cooled nuclear reactors (MSRs). Molten salts are used in next-generation nuclear reactors to transfer heat from the reacting fuel or to have nuclear fuel dissolved within the salty fluid itself – thereby providing safe, clean energy. “The opportunity to use our technology to help meet the demand for the safe, clean energy provided by MSRs is both exciting and extremely gratifying” said Dr. Matt Francis, Ozark IC’s Founder and President.  Ozark IC’s specific task involves manufacturing a non-reactive probe using silicon carbide (SiC) and gold materials, which has a proven temperature cycling durability from 500°C to 800°C (930⁰F to 1500⁰F). Ozark IC will also manufacture the analog front-end for the measurement instrument. The project is in conjunction with University of Wisconsin – Madison College of Engineering (UW-M) in Madison, Wisconsin. UW-M will perform measurements to confirm the feasibility of the instrument. “The high temperature technology that Ozark IC brings to MSR development is unique and greatly needed. We are looking forward to testing their MSR health-monitoring instrument,” said Dr. Mark Anderson, Director of the University of Wisconsin’s Thermal Hydraulics Laboratory and the UW-Tantalus facility in Stoughton Wisconsin. “It should provide extremely important capabilities for MSR development and safety.” Francis said he and his team are looking forward to the collaboration. “We are looking forward to this project and working with DOE and the University of Wisconsin,” he said. Molten salt reactors (MSRs) are considered safer than conventional reactors because they operate with fuel already in a molten state, and in event of an emergency, the fuel mixture is designed to drain from the core where it will solidify, preventing the type of nuclear meltdown and associated hydrogen explosions that are at risk in conventional (solid-fuel) reactors[1]. Continuous healthy operation of an MSR heat-exchange loop requires monitoring of the molten salt as it ages and oxidizes. Monitoring of these salts, which can reach temperatures of 500⁰C to 700⁰C, is used to predict when maintenance and/or replacement will be needed. MSRs have received great interest from the DOE and significant investments have been made in several companies to develop MSRs in the US and around the world. There have already been more than three billion federal dollars promised to advance efforts to develop smaller, more flexible nuclear reactor designs. This grant is one of 82 Department of Energy grants totaling $100 million to 68 small businesses in 24 states, including projects relating to wind turbine and wind farms, improved battery electrolytes, solar generation of hydrogen, and upcycling of carbon dioxide, along with a wide range of other efforts. “Supporting small businesses will ensure we are tapping into all of America’s talent to develop clean energy technologies that will help us tackle the climate crisis,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “DOE’s investments will enable these economic engines to optimize and commercialize their breakthroughs, while developing the next generation of climate leaders and helping to build a sustainable future to benefit all Americans.” Through the SBIR/STTR program across the federal government, small business powers the U.S. economy and generates thousands of jobs, both directly and indirectly, the DOE notes. DOE Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) awards aim at transforming DOE-supported science and technology breakthroughs into viable products and services. The awards also support the development of specialized technologies and instruments that aid in scientific discovery. About Ozark Integrated Circuits Inc. Ozark Integrated Circuits, Inc (Fayetteville, AR) was founded in 2011. Ozark IC’s mission is to bring the internet of things to everywhere it isn’t; anywhere hot, cold or in extreme vibration/radiation.  Ozark IC brings computing to the edge in the extreme conditions experienced in Energy Exploration, Aerospace, Space Exploration and Industrial Controls. Ozark IC’s solutions include hardware and software, integrated circuits, and packaging. Ozark IC’s strategy and technology have led industry watchers to recognize Ozark IC as a disruptive player in the rugged electronics marketplace. https://www.ozarkic.com/ About University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Thermal Hydraulics Laboratory. The Thermal Hydraulics laboratory at the University of Wisconsin Madison was started in 2009 by Professor Anderson to focus on the advancement of Energy production efficiency and sustainability.  Throughout this time the UW-Madison THL has developed significant experience working with high temperature fluids, such as a variety of liquid salt and liquid sodium as heat transfer fluids as well as high pressure systems. The THL has also developed and tested significant innovative components and sensors for use with these fluids.   [1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Molten_salt_reactor