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Philips addresses gain requirements of RF, microwave apps

Posted: 17 Oct 2005 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:royal philips electronics? qubic4x? bicmos? bipolar cmos? silicon-germanium-carbon?

Royal Philips Electronics introduced QUBiC4X, the latest addition to its QUBiC4 family of high-performance BiCMOS (Bipolar CMOS) process technologies. Based on silicon-germanium-carbon (sige:c) technology, this new process features bipolar transistors with fT figures in excess of 130GHz, suiting it to microwave applications in the 10GHz to 30GHz range. In addition, its ultra-low noise figure suits the process for use in sensitive RF receivers such as those required in high-performance mobile phones, said the company.

In terms of gain and noise figure, QUBiC4X's bipolar transistors rival gallium-arsenide performance, while at the same time the process allows the integration of CMOS logic, CMOS RF circuitry and high-performance high quality factor passive components. "With the introduction of QUBiC4X, designers have the benefit of a high-performance, cost-effective, reliable process technology that meets the performance, volume manufacturing and integration density requirements of demanding consumer-product applications as well as professional applications," said Patrice Gamand, Technology Manager for Philips Semiconductors' RF Innovation Center.

The gain and cut-off frequency of the QUBiC4X's bipolar transistors have been co-optimized so that these transistors exhibit highly usable power gain at microwave frequencies well in excess of 30GHz. Their fT x BVCEO figure is 245GHz, offering RF circuit designers a unique combination of power gain and excellent dynamic range. The transistors have also been optimized so that their 0.4dB noise figure applies at the low collector currents needed to conserve battery power in portable products. A process option that allows the integration of high breakdown-voltage power transistors enables the production of GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) RF power amplifiers with 88 percent power-added efficiency.

The press release further states that the QUBiC4X features the same extensive range of passive component integration capabilities as previous QUBiC4 generations, together with a set of newly developed 'elite-passives.' These enable the design of highly integrated solutions that combine improved RF performance with smaller size and weight, lower peripheral component count and cost, and easier design-in. The library of elite passives includes High-K MIM (High dielectric constant Metal-Insulator-Metal) capacitors for best-in-class capacitance densities, SiCr thin-film resistors, and well-modelled high-Q inductors. The high-resistivity silicon substrate used in the QUBiC4X process has been chosen to minimize microwave losses, while an extensive armory of substrate isolation techniques reduces parasitic effects.




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