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Semiconductor Today Magazine


19 June 2006


UMS and Ansoft collaborate on GaAs MMIC design methodology

United Monolithic Semiconductors (UMS) has implemented a GaAs IC design methodology for millimeter-wave frequencies utilizing on-chip electromagnetic extraction and a new Ansoft Designer/Nexxim RF design kit for the PH15 PHEMT process.

Eric Leclerc, UMS’s foundry manager, said: “MMIC design at millimeter-wave frequency requires a combination of powerful circuit and accurate electromagnetic simulation of the whole circuit. Ansoft with Nexxim, Ansoft Designer and HFSS provides the level of performance and accuracy expected by UMS Foundry customers, especially the ones who perform Q, V or W band designs on our very low-noise PH15 PHEMT process.”

Ansoft Corporation’s millimeter-wave qualified design kit offers advanced frequency-domain simulation for highly nonlinear and highly integrated circuits as well as integrated electromagnetic simulation for on-chip extraction. It supports electrical design and physical circuit layout, enabling reliable MMIC design at millimeter-wave frequencies. The kit provides all parameterized electrical models and layout cells for hot and cold FETs, diodes, MIM capacitors, spiral inductors, thin-film resistors and distributed interconnects, such as transmission lines.

UMS and Ansoft collaborated with an undisclosed Japanese electronics manufacturer to develop a 60 GHz front-end MMIC for short-range wireless communication. The ICs take advantage of UMS's high mobility .15-micron PHEMT process.

“Using Ansoft’s next-generation simulation products, Nexxim and Ansoft Designer, we are now able to design 60GHz transmitter/receiver circuits,” said Mr. Ken-ichi Ohta, manager of Engineering Development. “Our requirement for multi-tone harmonic-balance analysis of highly nonlinear circuits made it impossible for us to use previous generation simulation tools.”

Visit UMS: http://www.ums-gaas.com

Visit Ansoft: http://www.ansoft.com