News Article

TowerJazz Touts Highest Speed Foundry SiGe Technology

The 260GHz speed and low power consumption addresses the booming high-speed communications market fuelled by the explosion in video internet traffic.

TowerJazz, a specialty foundry leader, has unveiled what it claims to be the industry’s highest speed foundry SiGe technology, the SBC18H3.

The technology addresses next-generation needs for high-speed interfaces in communication protocols such as Thunderbolt, optical fibre, and high-data rate wireless by improving performance while reducing noise and power consumption of key building blocks. SBC18H3 also targets applications such as automotive collision avoidance systems, millimetre-wave radar and GHz imaging.

SBC18H3 is TowerJazz’s third generation 0.18 mm SiGe technology and offers transistors with 240GHz Ft and 260GHz Fmax in a cost-effective and analogue-friendly 0.18 mm node. The technology is built on the same mature integration platform used for the prior two TowerJazz SiGe processes now in high-volume production (SBC18H2 at 200GHz and SBC18HX at 155GHz).

IP of high-speed components such as TIAs, Laser Drivers, SerDes, CDRs from H2 and HX can be readily ported to the new H3 process since they are all in the same 0.18 mm node, allowing them to benefit from improved performance as well as reduced power consumption and noise.

Power consumption is dramatically reduced with H3 where, for example, a 77GHz amplifier can be made to consume three times less DC power than was possible with older technology. At the same time, noise is improved to levels that far exceed those of prior SiGe technology and are superior to numbers typically reported for more expensive III-V material systems (minimum noise figure at 20GHz is measured at less than 1dB and at 40GHz at only 2dB). This can be important in many communication systems but particularly in wireless applications, improving sensitivity of GPS systems, for example.

SBC18H3 process design Kits (PDKs) include mm-wave components important for high speed designs such as a transmission-line toolbox, p-i-n diodes for RF switching, and support for small size MIM capacitors. TowerJazz offers a monthly MPW for quick and cost-effective prototyping of designs, and leading customers have already built initial SBC18H3 prototype designs through this MPW service.

“SBC18H3 extends our leadership position in providing the highest speed SiGe foundry services," said Marco Racanelli, Senior Vice President and General Manager, RF and High Performance Analog Business Group. “The process extends the high-end of our overall portfolio of SiGe technology that currently spans from the 0.35 mm to the 0.13 mm node and is available in two of our 8-inch factories for flexibility of supply and capacity."

TowerJazz is exhibiting at ChipEx 2011 on May 4 at the Hilton Hotel Convention Centre in Tel Aviv, Israel (booth #22), as well as the Global Semiconductor Association (GSA) and International Semiconductor Forum on May 11-12, 2011 (booth # 17), at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof in Munich, Germany.

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