Silicon BiCMOS: The Optimal Technology for RF Power
However, as has been the case in the semiconductor industry since its inception, all roads lead to silicon because it repeatedly proves to offer the optimal combination of performance, cost, functional integration, and manufacturability for digital andanalog integrated circuits. Historically, RF circuitry has notbeen integrated in silicon. However, over the last two decades, the RF transceiver function has joined digital signal processing in silicon-‐based technologies. As a result, the RF PA and RF front-‐end system remain the last footholds for GaAs in the modern wireless communications device’s signal processing chain.
Design of RF front ends into foundry silicon technology would enable the third wave of the fabless revolution, which started with digital ICs, moved to analog, and finally RF/optical components. The fabless revolution will enable the RF industry to have the scale and supply chain to make multi-‐ function wireless connectivity blocks truly ubiquitous.