SINGAPORE -- Silicon foundry supplier Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Pte. Ltd. on Tuesday here announced it has collaborated with Oki Electronics Industry Co. Ltd. in Japan and Singapore's Institute of Microelectronics (IME) to create one of the first full CMOS chip sets for Bluetooth wireless communications.
The two-chip set uses Chartered's 0.35-micron RF CMOS technology to handle the 2.4 GHz frequency of Bluetooth connections between computer systems, telephones and other devices. Oki's Bluetooth chip set consists of a baseband digital chip paired with a RF CMOS chip, which contains transistors, passive components and device models developed by Chartered and IME.
"This cooperative effort allows us to offer customers the performance they expect at a cost that competes successfully against other technology implementations," said Tetsuzo Taniguchi, vice president of the Silicon Solutions Company of Oki. Most current designs are done with more expensive BiCMOS or silicon-germanium (SiGe) technologies, noted Oki and partner Chartered.
Oki is currently producing the baseband device at Miyagi Oki Electric Co. Ltd. As the market for wireless communications devices continues to grow, the companies expect that Chartered will fabricate both devices for Oki under a foundry agreement.
For Chartered, the collaboration is part of the foundry company's push to establish itself as a leading source of processed wafers for wireless chips. "It demonstrates that we are developing a suite of technologies that are centered on the communications market," said Kevin Meyer, vice president of business development at Chartered in a phone interview with SBN Tuesday morning. "In the case of RF CMOS, this is a technology that is tuned to these new local area wireless networks. Even though it is at 0.35 micron, we have a roadmap that goes beyond that to quarter-micron and 0.18-micron FR CMOS, which leverages our relationship with Ericsson's that was announced at the end of last year see Dec. 7, 1999, story."
Chartered said it has delivered device samples of the chip sets to Oki. The companies expect full production to begin in about six months.
--Reporting from U.S. by J. Robert Lineback