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Third-Gen SiGe Reduces Noise and Power Consumption
TowerJazz recently announced the company's third-generation 0.18 μm SiGe technology, SBC18H3, offering transistors with 240 GHz Ft and 260 GHz Fmax in a cost-effective and analog-friendly 0.18 μm node. The technology is built on the same mature integration platform used for the company's prior two SiGe processes, which are currently in high volume production (SBC18H2 at 200 GHz and SBC18HX at 155 GHz). The technology addresses next-generation needs for high speed interfaces in communication protocols, such as optical fiber, and high data rate wireless, by improving performance with reduced noise and power consumption of key building blocks. SBC18H3 also targets applications such as automotive collision avoidance systems, millimeter-wave radar and GHz imaging.
Power consumption is dramatically reduced. For example, a 77 GHz amplifier can be made to consume three times less DC power than was possible with older technology. At the same time, noise is improved to levels exceeding those of prior SiGe technologies as well as the results typically reported for III-V materials (minimum noise figure at 20 GHz is measured at less than 1 dB and at 40 GHz at only 2 dB).
For design support, SBC18H3 Process Design Kits (PDK) include mm-wave components such as a transmission-line toolbox, PIN diodes for RF switching, and support for small size MIM capacitors. PDKs are available for Cadence Virtuoso and Agilent ADS. TowerJazz offers a monthly MPW for quick and cost-effective prototyping of designs, and leading customers have already built initial SBC18H3 prototype designs through this MPW service. The IP of high speed components from H2 and HX can be readily ported to the new H3 process since they are all in the same 0.18 μm node.
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