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23 May 2016

GlobalFoundries releases 130nm SiGe 8XP performance-enhanced RF technology, optimized for 5G wireless networks

GlobalFoundries of Santa Clara, CA, USA (one of the world's largest semiconductor foundries, with more than 250 customers and operations in Singapore, Germany and the USA) has announced a next-generation radio-frequency (RF) silicon solution for its silicon germanium (SiGe) high-performance technology portfolio. The technology is optimized for customers who need improved performance solutions for automotive radar, satellite communications, 5G millimeter-wave (mmWave) base-stations and other wireless and wireline communication network applications. 

The SiGe 8XP technology is the latest extension to the firm's 130nm high-performance SiGe family and enables customers to develop RF solutions that deliver faster data throughput, over greater distances, while consuming less power. The technology offers improved heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) performance with lower noise figure, higher signal integrity, and up to a 25% increase in maximum oscillation frequency (fMAX) to 340GHz compared to its predecessor SiGe 8HP.

The complexity and performance demands of high-bandwidth communication systems operating in the mmWave frequency bands have created the need for higher-performance silicon solutions, says GlobalFoundries. This creates opportunities for SiGe solutions in the RF front end of 5G smartphones and other mmWave phased-array consumer applications in addition to the existing applications that depend on SiGe for high performance, such as communications infrastructure base-stations, backhaul, satellite and fiber optic networks.

"5G networks promise to bring a new level of innovation to RF SOC [system-on-chip] design to support high-bandwidth data delivery and meet the demands for increased data rates and low-latency applications," says Dr Bami Bastani, senior VP of the RF business unit. "SiGe 8HP and 8XP technologies offer an outstanding balance of performance, power and efficiency that enable customers to develop differentiated RF solutions in next-generation mobile and infrastructure hardware," he claims.

"GlobalFoundries' SiGe technology leadership and comprehensive PDKs [process design kits] enable our designers to develop performance-optimized, differentiated millimetre-wave solutions quickly," comments Anokiwave's CEO Robert Donahue. "Utilizing SiGe 8XP allows us to take performance to even higher levels in future-ready mmWave solutions designed to help providers stay ahead of the demands for reliable connectivity, from anywhere, while handling exploding volumes of mobile data traffic."

With future 5G deployments poised to drive a proliferation of base-stations with smaller cell areas, SiGe 8HP and 8XP are designed to help offer a balance of value, power output, efficiency, low noise, and linearity at microwave and millimeter-wave frequencies for differentiated RF solutions in next-generation mobile infrastructure hardware and smartphone RF front ends. The SiGe 8HP and 8XP high-performance offerings enable chip designers to integrate significant digital and RF functionality while exploiting a more economical silicon technology base compared to gallium arsenide (GaAs) and higher performance than CMOS, says GlobalFoundries.

In addition to high-performance transistors for efficient operation at mmWave frequencies, SiGe 8HP and 8XP introduce technology innovations that can reduce the die size and enable area-efficient solutions. A new copper (Cu) metallization feature provides improved current-carrying capabilities with five times the current density at 100°C, or up to 25°C higher operating temperature at the same current density compared to standard Cu lines. In addition, GlobalFoundries' production-proven through-silicon via (TSV) interconnect technology is available. SiGe 8XP design kits are available now.

GlobalFoundries is exhibiting its 130nm SiGe technology solutions in booth #1443 at the IEEE's International Microwave Symposium (IMS 2016) in San Francisco (22-27 May).


Visit: www.ims2016.org

Visit: www.globalfoundries.com/SiGe

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