ULM, Germany--Silicon Valley-based Atmel Corp. today announced it was joining Multilink Technology Corp. of New Jersey and five-year-old GaAs foundry supplier United Monolithic Semiconductors in a new R&D center at the University of Ulm to pursue ICs with analog functions for wireless and high-speed optoelectronics systems.
The new "Competence Center on Integrated Circuits in Communications" will use Atmel's silicon and silicon-germanium (SiGe) technology and gallium-arsenide (GaAs) processes from United Monolithic Semiconductors (UMS) to push leading-edge analog circuits a range of applications. San Jose-based Atmel has manufacturing facilities in Heilbronn, Germany, and Nantes, France, as well as other parts of the world. UMS has foundry operations in Ulm and Orsav, France, which focus on monolithic microwave ICs (MMICs) and other GaAs devices.
"Our goal is to exploit synergistic design effects between broadband wireless and optoelectronic applications, as well as between different semiconductor technologies," said professor Hermann Schumacher, who will direct the center's operations.
One area of focus at the new center will be high linearity amplifiers for cellular phone systems, based on code-division multiple access (CDMA) technology. Another will be frontend ICs for high-end, long-haul fiber optic communications operating at 40 GHz and above speeds, said officials involved with the center, which is located on the University of Ulm's campus.
The center will also participate in publicly funded R&D projects and solicit collaboration with additional industrial partners, said officials.