X-FAB, the leading More-than-Moore foundry, has expanded its low-noise transistor portfolio based on the company’s proprietary 180 nm XH018 mixed-signal CMOS technology. These transistors are mainly designed for sensor deployments which require very low-noise signal amplification to achieve high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR).

Three new transistors are now available: a 1.8 V low-noise NMOS, a 3.3 V low-noise NMOS and a 3.3 V low-noise PMOS – all of which offer drastically reduced flicker noise compared to standard CMOS offerings.

The new 1.8 V low-noise NMOS transistor delivers an improvement factor of eight times lower flicker noise compared to the standard XH018 device. The new 3.3 V low-noise NMOS transistor gives up to ten times lower flicker noise, while the flicker noise for the 3.3 V low-noise PMOS transistor that complements it is halved for all drain currents.

Flicker noise, also known as 1/f noise, is the dominant noise at low frequencies, between 1 Hz to 1 MHz. For applications working in this spectrum, it is important that the flicker noise is kept to a minimal level.

Using the new complementary low-noise 3.3 V transistors makes it easier for designers to realize noise-critical designs, enabling them to achieve a high SNR – as required, for example, by digital amplifier ICs. Designers can also benefit from more accurate models which are supplied in the new BSIM4 format. With this, the chances for achieving first-time-right implementation of complex analog circuits are significantly improved.

Luigi Di Capua, Director Marketing at X-FAB, commented: “X-FAB has been setting the benchmark for low-noise performance in its 350 nm technology for many years. We are proud to now also offer industry-leading low-noise devices via our 180 nm XH018 platform. By adding just one extra mask layer, all three ultra-low-noise transistors can be incorporated into noise-sensitive circuit designs.”