16 May 2011

IBM’s 8HP SiGe process meets Tektronix 30+GHz oscilloscope design goals

Test instrumentation maker Tektronix Inc of Beaverton, OR, USA has announced that validation of application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) designed in IBM’s 8HP silicon germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS Specialty Foundry technology are exceeding target specifications for a planned new performance oscilloscope capable of greater than 30GHz bandwidth across multiple channels while minimizing noise found in older chip sets.

The new oscilloscope platform aims to meet electronic designers’ needs for more accurate characterization of high-speed serial data beyond 10Gb/s, and will enhance optical modulation analysis of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) where complex signaling requires accurate bit capture.

“This represents our first commercial integration of 8HP technology and clearly shows the latest generation of SiGe is delivering significant performance differentiation to the industry’s most demanding oscilloscope applications,” says Roy Siegel, general manager, Oscilloscopes, Tektronix. “This year, we will be delivering a new series of performance oscilloscopes with the lowest noise and class-leading signal acquisition performance across multiple channels,” he claims. “IBM’s SiGe technology has long delivered the performance and reliability our customers demand and, as our lab demonstration indicates, this will continue well into the future.”

IBM’s 8HP technology is a 130nm SiGe bipolar complementary metal oxide semiconductor (BiCMOS) process that offers 2x performance over the previous generation. SiGe technology leverages highly reliable and mature fabrication processes associated with the 50-year-old silicon industry, but with performance levels comparable to that of materials such as indium phosphide (InP) and gallium arsenide (GaAs), it is claimed. Unlike those alternatives, SiGe BiCMOS provides access to high-speed bipolar transistors on the same die as standard CMOS, enabling a class of circuitry that marries extreme performance with large-scale integration. Tektronix says that it is this union that has allowed it to reliably deliver feature-rich, high-speed data acquisition systems for over a decade.

“As Tektronix’s lab demonstration makes very apparent, IBM's 8HP SiGe technology continues to deliver a winning combination of speed, accuracy and integration required for high-end instrumentation,” comments Regina Darmoni, director, Specialty Foundry, IBM.

Initial Tektronix product deployments using 8HP SiGe technology are expected later this year.

See related items:

Tektronix Component Solutions validated as ‘Ready for IBM Technology’ for SiGe 100 & 200GHz processes

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