X-Fab Silicon Foundries SE (Tessenderlo, Belgium) has announced a licensing agreement to use a silicon-germanium manufacturing process developed by the Leibniz Institute for High Performance Microelectronics (IHP).
The manufacturing process is based on 130nm minimum design rules and is suitable to address communications applications. These include Wi-Fi 6 and Wi-Fi 7 access points, 5G and 6G cellular infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication.
This attainable performance levels are also applicable to radar system operating above 100GHz, for use in both automotive and consumer applications.
This license agreement follows on from the collaborative work that began in 2021, where X-Fab’s copper backend processing was added to IHP’s SG13S and SG13G2 frontend technologies to boost the bandwidth figures that could be supported.
Made in France
In relation to this innovative SiGe platform, X-FAB is set to start engaging with selected early adopters on prototyping projects during Q4 2022.
An early-access physical design kit (PDK) is available to enable prototyping of these SiGe processes in 4Q22. Volume manufacturing will happen at X-Fab France, the company’s facility near Paris.
“The incorporation of IHP’s HBTs [heterojunction bipolar transistors] into X-Fab’s RF platform will provide customers with a truly differentiated SiGe BiCMOS technology that is certain to bring tangible performance benefits,” said Prof. Gerhard Kahmen, scientific director at IHP, in a statement issued by X-Fab.
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