CAMARILLO, Calif. - Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. today (June 30) announced a $6 million contract from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop manufacturing processes and communication ICs using its indium phosphide heterojunction bipolar transmitter (InP HBT) technology.
The Camarillo-based chip maker will work with BAE Systems and the University of Illinois Urbana Champain (UIUC) to fulfill the DARPA contract.
It also calls for Vitesse's new VIP-2 InP process for high-speed communications and related applications. The new process is similar to Vitesse's VIP-1 process, which is based on 4-inch diameter semi-insulating.
A key difference between the VIP-1 and the VIP-2 process is the bipolar transistor structure. VIP-2 makes use of double heterojunction bipolar Transistors (DHBT), which has an fT and Fmax of 300-GHz--or twice the speed of current VIP-1 transistors.
The VIP-2 process has four layers of metal interconnect and includes resistors and capacitors. It provides circuit designers the benefits of both high-speed and high-voltage operation suitable for digital, analog, and RF circuits at 10-Ghz and higher.
Vitesse will collaborate with Bae Systems on the design of the
communications circuits. The initial circuits are for direct digital frequency synthesis (DDFS) for electronic warfare and radar applications.
UIUC will focus on research for the next-generation transistor structures meant to further extend circuit performance and applications. A factor of two improvements in critical performance parameters has already been attained in early VIP-2 experiments at 0.45 microns.
Further scaling is planned, by incorporating UIUC's findings, with the ultimate goal of shrinking device geometry to 0.25 microns. This will result in static flip-flop toggle frequencies of 150-GHz. The initial 18-month contract contains option phases, which, if implemented, would bring the total value of the contract to more than $15 million.