Industry News

BIS Announces Controls on Emerging and Foundational Technologies

Aug. 16, 2022

BIS announced changes to the Commerce Control List (CCL), and corresponding parts of the EAR, pertaining to certain emerging and foundational technologies. These changes reflect controls decided by governments participating in the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies (WA) at the December 2021 WA Plenary meeting. The technologies are two substrates of ultra-wide bandgap semiconductors (Gallium Oxide (Ga2O3) and diamond), Electronic Computer Aided Design (ECAD) software specially designed for the development of integrated circuits with any Gate-All- Around Field-Effect Transistor (GAAFET) structure, and pressure gain combustion (PGC) technology for the production and development of gas turbine engine components or systems.

Substrates of Ultra-Wide Bandgap Semiconductors

Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Silicon Carbide (SiC) are the leading materials used to produce sophisticated microwave or millimeter wave devices controlled under ECCN 3A001.b or high-power semiconductor devices controlled under ECCNs 3A001.g and 3A001.h on the CCL. In addition to GaN and SiC, materials such as Ga2O3 and diamond have a strong potential for use in military applications and are being developed to be used to fabricate more sophisticated devices than those produced using GaN or SiC.

The devices made from Ga2O3 or diamond are expected to work under more severe conditions, such as higher voltage or higher temperature, than the devices made from GaN or SiC. Substrates made from GaN or SiC are controlled under ECCNs 3C001, 3C005, and 3C006, and related technologies other than those controlled under ECCN 3E001 are covered by ECCN 3E003. With significant military use potential, Ga2O3 and diamond were added to the CCL in the ECCNs 3C001.d–.f, 3C005.a and .b, and 3C006.

Software for ECAD for the Development of ICs with GAAFET

Electronic Computer-Aided Design (ECAD) is a category of software tools used for designing, analyzing, optimizing, and validating the performance of integrated circuits or printed circuit boards. ECAD software is used by the military and aerospace defense industries for designing complex integrated circuits, Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), and electronic systems.

ECAD software is often offered in modules that support the requirements of circuit designers as well as the production prerequisites supplied by foundries. ECAD software is not distinguished by the type or architecture of integrated circuit, but by the capabilities that enable design, analysis, optimization, validation, and verification of the advanced circuitry of specific transistor types. Therefore, some ECAD software may be particularly suited to efficiently design complex GAAFET circuits. As proprietary information could be involved, the ‘‘specially designed’’ requirements of the control can be difficult to ascertain in specific ECAD software. BIS is now controlling this technology by adding new ECCN 3D006 to the CCL to control ECAD ‘‘software’’ ‘‘specially designed’’ for the ‘‘development’’ of integrated circuits having any GAAFET structure and meeting the parameters set forth in ECCN 3D006. Such software must be either ‘‘specially designed’’ for implementing RTL to GDSII or an equivalent standard or ‘‘specially designed’’ for optimization of power or timing rules.

Pressure Gain Combustion (PGC)

PGC technology is a technology with the potential to increase gas turbine engine efficiency by more than 10%. PGC technology has extensive potential to impact terrestrial systems, as well as aerospace applications such as rockets and hypersonic systems. Conventional gas turbine engines undergo steady, subsonic combustion, resulting in a total pressure loss, PGC utilizes multiple physical phenomena to cause a rise in effective pressure across the combustor, while consuming the same amount of fuel as the constant pressure combustor. This results in a pressure gain across the combustor and has the potential to produce higher efficiency gas turbine power systems.

Photo by SpaceX on Unsplash

BIS has not identified any engines currently in production using PGC; however, there is substantial ongoing research regarding potential production. The increased fuel efficiency and the potential for a more compact engines provides potential military advantages and technology directly related certain PGC-based propulsion systems are already considered defense articles described on the U.S. Munitions List (USML). However, it is increasingly likely that commercial industrial gas turbine engines will be produced with PGC technology. This new rule adds paragraph 9E003.a.2.e to control development and production technology for combustors utilizing ‘pressure gain combustion’ that are not described on the USML and adds a technical note to define ‘pressure gain combustion.’

This rule is effective August 15, 2022, although there is limited savings clause. Instructions concerning the addition of ECCN 3D006 are effective October 14, 2022. BIS is accepting comments regarding the implementation of ECCN 3D006 until September 14, 2022, via the Federal rulemaking portal. If you have any questions about the new controls, please contact any attorney at Barnes, Richardson & Colburn.