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8 July 2015

TowerJazz and Anatrix develop RadHard RF ASIC; reaches flight qualification

Specialty foundry TowerJazz and Anatrix LLC of Colorado Springs, CO, USA (a provider of custom analog, RF and mixed-signal ICs for consumer electronics, wireless and radiation-tolerant markets) have developed a Radiation Hardened by Design (RHBD) RF front-end ASIC (application-specific integrated circuit) using TowerJazz's SBC18HA 0.18µm silicon germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS process through its US Aerospace & Defense business unit in its Newport Beach, CA facility. The new ASIC has produced what is claimed to be leading-edge RF phase detection with integrated controller functions, and has successfully entered flight qualification status.

Anatrix says that its proprietary RadHard by Design methodology allows its customers to achieve program radiation tolerance specifications without expensive and time-consuming overdesign, creating the optimum trade-off between total ionizing dose, single-event effects tolerance and cost.

"TowerJazz technology was critical to the success of this program; its SiGe BiCMOS process allowed Anatrix to achieve outstanding RF performance utilizing SiGe HBT [heterojunction bipolar transistor] devices while creating a cost-effective solution for our space customer by incorporating CMOS-based analog and digital control circuitry," comments Anatrix's president Greg Pauls Ph.D.

Anatrix has an extensive silicon-verified RadHard by Design IP portfolio on TowerJazz's 180nm CMOS and SiGe processes in its Newport Beach, CA facility, and is currently extending its development into TowerJazz's 130nm processes.

"The design expertise of Pauls and his team very effectively utilizes and implements the strengths of our SiGe foundry offerings and the breadth of its features," comments Mike Scott, director – Aerospace and Defense business unit at TowerJazz. "We look forward to additional successful IP development at the 180nm node as well as our 130nm platform later in 2015."

Through its Newport Beach facility (Jazz Semiconductor), TowerJazz supplies strategic, on-shore foundry services for critical US aerospace and defense (A&D) applications serving the widest range of technologies that may be used by A&D customers for government, military, and defense requirements, including large-die ROICs (readout integrated circuits), imagers, MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) and millimetre-wave devices, among others.

TowerJazz's modular 0.18µm SiGe BiCMOS platform incorporates high-speed, standard and high-breakdown SiGe bipolar transistors (NPNs) for low noise, high switching speeds and better linearity than can be achieved with typical 0.18µm CMOS, it is claimed, for applications where those features are required. With capacity expansion and new technologies in areas such as high-speed SiGe, ROICs (7ML and 8ML), imaging and MEMS, TowerJazz says that it continues to demonstrate its ongoing commitment to its A&D customers.

"During engineering model phase testing, our customer achieved electrical performance in their system beyond what had been reached previously when using commercially available parts," says Pauls. "As a fabless company, this kind of customer feedback gives us confidence we can continue to create world-class radiation-tolerant designs through our partnership with TowerJazz," he adds.

TowerJazz is exhibiting in booth #16 at the 2015 IEEE Nuclear and Space Radiation Effects Conference (NSREC) at the Marriott Copley Place, Boston, MA, USA (13-17 July).

Tags: TowerJazz SiGe BiCMOS

Visit: www.anatrix-ic.com

Visit: www.towerjazz.com/aerospace-defense.html

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