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Cable Technology Feature Article

May 12, 2010

TowerJazz Targets Wireless RF and TV Tuner Markets

By Anuradha Shukla, TMCnet Contributor

TowerJazz, a collective brand that offers a wide range of customizable process technologies including SiGe, BiCMOS, Mixed-Signal and RFCMOS, CMOS Image Sensor, Power Management, and Non-Volatile Memory as well as MEMS capabilities, has made available design kit for its 130nm SiGe BiCMOS technology "SBL13" for high volume consumer RF applications.

To get high performance RF with more integrated digital logic, the SBL13 process brings together the SiGe bipolar performance and a mature 130nm CMOS copper backend.  The technology is aimed at wireless RF and digital TV tuner application that when combined are less than $1B markets. Better performance, cheaper cost and higher digital integration are also needed.

The 130nm SiGe BiCMOS technology (SBL13) is the first BiCMOS process to be developed in ToweJazz's Israel fab. The only foundry with SiGE BiCMOS in more than one fab, TowerJazz has extraordinary flexibility in manufacturing for RF designs with high performance. 

TheSBL13 is ideal for cell phone transceivers, TV tuners and WLAN transceivers. It allows the designing of complicated baseband and demodulator function at less than half of the die size of a process that's 0.18 um by bringing together a rich IP offering and a mature 130nm Cu CMOS platform. The integration of low-noise and low-power RF is allowed by a 100 GHz SiGE bipolar device, while the integration of power amplifiers and drivers is allowed by a high voltage SiGE device.

Three NPN transistors with 40 GHz, 74 GHz and 100 GHz Ft and high density passive elements like 5.6fF/um2 MIM capacitor and 3um thick copper inductors are included in the SBL13 process. A 130nm CMOS with copper metallization can reach digital logic densities up to 200Kgates/mm2. The outcome of which is higher performance and RF products that are more highly integrated.

Marco Racanelli, the senior vice president and general manager at RF and High Performance Analog Business Group, stated that the 130nm SiGe BiCMOS technology expands their SiGe technology roadmap.

Anuradha Shukla is a contributing editor for TMCnet. To read more of Anuradha's article, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Stefania Viscusi