SAN JOSE Atmel Corp. today announced its wafer fab in Germany is ready to provide IC foundry services using an upgraded silicon-germanium (SiGe) process for chip frequencies up to 82 GHz in communications applications.
The upgraded SiGe process and faster transistor speeds enables the San Jose company to extend foundry services to high-speed transmission and fiber optics applications, said Frank Heinricht, chief executive officer of the Atmel Wireless & Microcontroller Division.
Atmel said the new SiGe technology offers transit frequency and maximum oscillation frequency of 82 GHz, while providing a noise figure of 1.5 dB at 5 GHz. Transistors can operate at 2.5 or 4.0 volts, said the company. In addition to the high-speed transistors, the SiGe technology supports the integration of passive components, such as resistors, capacitors and inductors.
For prototyping, foundry customers have a choice between a full engineering run of wafers or a die on multi-project wafers, said Atmel, which operated a 6-inch SiGe fab in Heilbronn, Germany. Prototypes can be delivered nine weeks after completion of designs. Design manuals as well as design kits from Cadence Design Systems Inc. are now available, and prototype wafers are now beginning to run in the Heilbronn plant.