SINGAPORE -- Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing Pte. Ltd. today announced plans to begin prototype production of 0.25-micron radio-frequency CMOS technology in early 2001, following the recent release of process qualification data. The Singapore-based chip foundry also said it is preparing to offer preliminary design rules, device models, and characterization data for a 0.18-micron RF CMOS in December.
Chartered's accelerated roadmap for RF CMOS processes is partly a result of two separate R&D partnerships struck with Ericsson Microelectronics and Oki Electric Industry Co. Ltd. during the past 12 months. Last summer, Chartered inked an alliance with Oki and Singapore's Institute of Microelectronics (IME) to produce one of the industry's first full CMOS chip sets for Bluetooth wireless communications, using 0.35-micron technology (see July 17 story). Late last year, Chartered also entered into a 10-year partnership to develop RF CMOS and the BiCMOS technologies for wireless applications with Ericsson (see Dec. 7 story).
The Singapore foundry supplier said its 0.35-micron RF CMOS has been fully qualified with sample devices shipped to Oki in Japan. The foundry said it is now ready to begin volume production of a two-chip set for 2.4-GHz frequency of Bluetooth connections.
By early 2001, Chartered expects to begin characterization of 0.13-micron RF CMOS processes with qualification of that foundry technology slated to begin about three months later next year.