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Industry News / Amplifiers

Jazz Semiconductor’s 0.18 Micron Silicon Radio Platform Allows Complete Radio Integration

October 9, 2007
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Jazz Semiconductor®, a leader in analog-intensive mixed-signal (AIMS) foundry solutions and a wholly owned subsidiary of Jazz Technologies™ Inc., announced at European Microwave Week (EuMW) the availability of its 0.18-micron Silicon Radio platform for complete radio integration.


The 0.18-micron Jazz Silicon Radio platform allows complete integration of the radio in a wireless device on a single piece of silicon integrating the transceiver, antenna switch, power amplifier (PA) and controllers, eliminating the need for expensive discrete GaAs devices. Jazz's 0.18-micron RF CMOS process (CA18) and its 0.18-micron SiGe BiCMOS process (SBC18) include an SOI option that enables the integration of the antenna switch, but, unlike other solutions, also enables the integration of the power amplifier. This new technology promises to deliver higher levels of integration for future cell phones, wireless LANs and WiMAX systems, while displacing chips today built in more expensive GaAs and reducing die costs up to 50 percent.

Jazz Semiconductor’s 0.18-micron Silicon Radio platform is composed of the 0.18-micron base CMOS or SiGe BiCMOS with four modules: an SOI module for the integration of the antenna switch, a PA module with high-power SiGe or CMOS devices, an LNA module with SiGe low-noise devices, and a Passive module consisting of a suite of high quality passive elements for the realization of inter-stage filter and matching circuits. All the modules (including SOI) can be combined or used independently to achieve the right level of cost and integration and optimally address each market need. Characterized building blocks are available for critical elements to ensure fast time to market. A through-wafer-via (TWV) module, to improve the efficiency of power amplifiers, is under development.

Prior Jazz SiGe technology has enabled integration of power amplifiers and transceivers for lower power standards such as 802.11b,g and PHS, and these products now enjoy significant production volume in the mature 0.35-micron node. The new 0.18-micron Silicon Radio Platform is addressing next-generation requirements for higher frequencies (such as the 5 GHz bands in 802.11n and WiMAX) or higher power (as in cellular 2G, 2.5G and 3G standards such as CDMA, GSM, GPRS, EDGE, WCDMA and WEDGE).

“Jazz Semiconductor’s 0.18-micron Silicon Radio platform is a perfect match to our requirements for highly integrated, intelligent WiMAX front-end components,” said Vikram Krishnamurthy, chief technology office of VT Silicon. “Their modular SiGe process affords us the ability to put very sophisticated control and intelligence within the power amplifier because it combines both CMOS – which is low power control circuitry – and bipolar transistors in one fabrication process. Building our PAs on SiGe instead of the more costly GaAs, used in most existing WiMAX PAs, enables us to reduce chip costs to justify high-volume consumer applications.”

“We look forward to helping our customers push the bounds of radio integration with this new technology,” said Marco Racanelli, vice president of technology and engineering, Jazz Semiconductor. “Our Silicon Radio Platform includes an SOI module that for the first time enables a single-chip radio front-end. This, coupled with Jazz’s strong wireless customer base and design enablement libraries, will allow the fast realization of more highly integrated, breakthrough radio products.”

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