TowerJazz Targets Automotive RF Market
Silicon foundry TowerJazz is targeting the automotive market — especially advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving — with its portfolio of advanced RF and high performance analog (HPA) manufacturing processes.
Automotive RF applications comprise wireless connectivity and automotive radar, with radar having the largest share of today’s automotive RF semiconductor content. Automotive radar systems have become a relatively standard feature on today’s premium and mid-range automobiles for performing safety and driver assistance tasks, such as forward collision avoidance and warning, lane departure warning, blind spot detection and parking assist. With increasing adoption of ADAS and the eventual migration to fully autonomous vehicles, as many as seven to twelve radar systems may be incorporated on each car.
The semiconductor content for wireless connectivity is also forecast to grow rapidly, with the number of connected cars quadrupling over the next five years. GPS, 4G-LTE (transitioning to 5G) and V2X (vehicle-to-everything) communications will add to the RF semiconductor content.
According to a 2016 MarketsandMarkets report and TowerJazz estimates, the RF semiconductor market for automobiles will grow to greater than $1.8 billion by 2021, representing compound annual growth of greater than 14 percent.
The TowerJazz SiGe Terabit Platform delivers the high performance needed for automotive radar systems, either 24 to 26 GHz for short-range and 76 to 81 GHz for long range. The SBC18H2 through SBC18H5 SiGe technologies offer Ft of 240 to 300 GHz and Fmax of 280 to 340 GHz, providing the latitude to optimize speed and noise requirements for specific applications. The SiGe Terabit Platform has two CMOS options, 1.8/3.3 V (180 nm) and 1.2/3.3 V (130 nm). All of the SiGe technologies offer customizable metallization and high performance passives, including MIM capacitors and inductors.
For more cost-sensitive applications, TowerJazz offers a 65 nm RFCMOS platform in its Uozu, Japan factory. To serve wireless connectivity, TowerJazz offers a front-end module-on-a-chip RF platform in addition to the RFSOI and RFCMOS technologies, with what the company says is “best-in-class” Ron-Coff for switches and noise figure for low noise amplifiers.
Marco Racanelli, senior VP and general manager of TowerJazz’s RF and HPA business, said, “In the last several years we have established ourselves as the leading provider of technology solutions that enable higher data rates in handsets, data centers and networks. As we look forward, we see the proliferation of IoT devices, the advent of 5G cellular service and the promise of autonomous vehicles augmenting our RF business with additional exciting opportunities for growth, and we are investing heavily in technologies that provide our customers a strong advantage in these new areas.”
Beyond automotive, TowerJazz manufactures ICs for consumer, industrial, medical and aerospace and defense markets. The company’s process technology comprises a range of customizable process platforms, including SiGe, BiCMOS, mixed-signal/CMOS, RF CMOS, CMOS image sensor, integrated power management (BCD and 700 V) and MEMS. TowerJazz operates two manufacturing facilities in Israel (150 and 200 mm), two in the U.S. (200 mm) and three facilities in Japan (two 200 and one 300 mm).