Sanan IC, a pure-play wafer foundry based in Xiamen City, China, has recognized Plextek RFI, a MMIC design firm based in the U.K., as an authorized resource for its foundry customers seeking GaAs MMIC design services, particularly for mmWave MMICs.

“As the 5G infrastructure market expands from sub-6 GHz into the mmWave spectrum, RF front-end design activities for the associated telecoms equipment are naturally increasing. We are pleased to have Plextek RFI as an authorized design services partner, to assist our customers worldwide in augmenting their GaAs IC design and development resources with RF engineering expertise," said Raymond Cai, the CEO of Sanan IC.

To demonstrate the capabilities of Sanan IC’s process technology, Plextek RFI designed a four-channel, single MMIC power amplifier (PA) for the 28 GHz 5G band. The design was fabricated with Sanan IC’s P15EP1 0.15 µm 6-in. GaAs E/D PHEMT process and assembled in a surface-mount package. Check out the details of this design in our January issue where authors from Plextek discuss the design in detail.

With a 0.15 µm gate length E-mode transistor, with an Ft of 85 GHz and Fmax of 155 GHz, the P15EP1 process is well suited for mmWave PA and low noise amplifier (LNA) designs. The platform has 12 mask levels, provides up to three metal interconnect layers and has a final wafer thickness of 75 µm. The process integrates 0.5 µm E- and D-mode devices for implementing logic on chip.

The P15EP1 is part of Sanan IC’s P15 family of GaAs PHEMT processes, which provides options such as D-mode transistors and PIN diodes for switches and limiters.

“The roll-out of 5G infrastructure has generated demand for a variety of mmWave RF front-end architectures and topologies that require high performance GaAs IC designs. We are delighted to provide our clients innovative solutions and design options to address these requirements, as demonstrated by our compact, multi-channel power amplifier reference design on Sanan IC GaAs technology. We expect to build on this success by leveraging other Sanan IC GaAs processes and exploiting its future roadmap for high-performance, high integration, and high quality RF designs.” — Plextek RFI CEO Liam Devlin

Plextek RFI specializes in microwave and mmWave MMIC designs.