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Plessey Semi to Develop 8 inch SiGe BiCMOS technology

The firm is to expand its sensors, RF components and power management device manufacturing capability. Processes will also include a range of analogue and high performance passive components including Schottky diodes.

Plessey Semiconductors has commenced the development of a 0.35 micron silicon germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS process technology on its 8-inch line at its Plymouth, England semiconductor manufacturing facility.

As part of its strategy of developing its three core product lines of sensors, RF components and power management devices it was decided that a bespoke SiGe BiCMOS process was required. The products manufactured on this process will take advantage of having a 70GHz, 2.5V breakdown voltage architecture together with a 40GHz 5V breakdown voltage architecture on the same substrate.

The process will also include a range of analogue and high performance passive components including Schottky diodes, varactors, high Q inductors and MIM capacitors.

The combination of a high frequency capability combined with high voltage and the added component features opens up a wide range of applications. Potential products include high performance transceivers for optical communications, next generation data converters for test and measurement systems and high-speed amplifiers including logarithmic amplifiers.

The firm says its log amp design using its SiGe technology could operate at frequencies up to 5GHz, a ten-fold increase in performance compared to a previous technology implementation.

 It is planned that the SiGe BiCMOS process will be generally available by mid-2011 and the first Plessey products will be sampled by end-2011.

Peter Osborne, Chief Technologist, said, “We have looked at SiGe bipolar and BiCMOS process technologies for some time and have developed processes for other fabs. We believe that our exceptional complementary bipolar processes on SiGe together with our 0.35 CMOS capability should provide a compelling platform from which Plessey can develop outstanding product lines.”

Plessey Semiconductors are leading experts in the development and manufacture of semiconductor products used in sensing, measurement and controls applications. Plessey’s products are found in a wide range of markets including communications, manufacturing, medical, defense, aerospace and automotive.

Plessey designs their products specifically for high performance applications and include image sensors, RF components, and power management devices. The suite of state-of-the-art high precision, high voltage products are available in high temperature and radiation tolerant options.
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