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Industry News / Semiconductors / Integrated Circuits

TowerJazz Announces Availability of Wireless Antenna Switch SOI Process Technology

June 7, 2011
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TowerJazz announced availability of its wireless antenna switch SOI process technology applicable to multiple wireless standards. SOI based solutions cost substantially less than legacy solutions based on GaAs PHEMT or silicon-on-sapphire (SOS) technologies. The TowerJazz SOI technology is unique relative to other SOI processes in that it maintains full compatibility with its bulk CMOS process enabling integration of control functions, low noise amplifiers and power amplifiers on a single chip. High-end smart-phones can benefit most from integration while lower-end phones can benefit simply from the lower cost of SOI making the technology relevant for most of the 1.4 billion handset units sold each year.

In addition to the process, design IP is available to kick-start the design effort. An example is a switch IP block optimized to achieve excellent channel isolation of better than -40 dBm, insertion loss of 0.47 dB in low-band and 0.58 dB in high-band, low harmonics of better than 75 dBc at cellular power levels, and intermodulation distortion measured as low as -117 dBm.

The TowerJazz SOI process combines a 6 or 4 metal layer CMOS process with high resistivity SOI substrates. It is a 0.18 µm technology with dual gate 1.8 V and 3.3 V or 5 V MOSFETs and a 5 V RFLDMOS with Ft of 19 GHz and breakdown of 20 V. The 3.3 V and 5 V FETs facilitate the integration of HVCMOS blocks while the 1.8 V FETs are the integration of logic functions. The LDMOS device provides for reliable, high performance RF power. The passive components include silicided and unsilicided poly resistors, 2 fF/µm2 and stacked 4 fF/µm2 metal-insulator-metal capacitors, scalable inductors and discrete size baluns and transformers.

While using an SOI starting material, this unique technology offers “bulk-like” behavior of the active MOSFETs, free of floating body effects for ease of IP integration. Isolation between device wells and of field areas below sensitive passive components and metal routing is provided by an oxide filled trench to the buried oxide.

“TowerJazz’s SOI technology is providing our customers a unique set of features targeting the cellular switch market at a lower cost than the incumbent technologies of GaAs PHEMT and silicon-on-sapphire. Unlike other SOI technologies, our process allows the seamless integration of existing bulk IP such as power control, low noise amplifiers and even power amplifiers,” said Dr. Marco Racanelli, Senior Vice President and General Manager, RF and High Performance Analog Business Group.

TowerJazz will be exhibiting (booth #715 on Agilent Avenue) at the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) Conference on June 7-9, 2011 at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Maryland where detailed information on its wireless antenna SOI switch process technology will be available.


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