LONDON – Specialist foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd, which trades under the name TowerJazz, has announced collaboration with Presto Engineering Inc. to provide engineering services to customers using Tower's silicon-germanium process technology.
Presto (San Jose, Calif.) is a provider of R&D services to integrated device manufacturers and fabless chip companies with laboratories in San Jose and Caen and Grenoble in France and through the agreement with Tower (Migdal Haemek), also in Israel. Services include test, reliability and failure analysis including use of a focused ion beam (FIB) machine.The alliance between Presto and Tower covers wafer-level and packaged part development activities.
Presto is offering Tower customers RF testing services in Ka-Band and E-Band, including both frequency and time-domain tests, noise, and power measurements, jitter, phase noise and bit-error-rate (BERT) measurements.
SBC18H3 is Tower's third generation 0.18-micron SiGe manufacturing process technology, following on from 18H2 and 18HX. It offers transistors with Ft and Fmax of 240-GHz and 260-GHz respectively. In general it offers a better performance as well as reduced power consumption and noise, Tower said. Tower's SiGe BiCMOS technology is aimed at replacing GaAs components in markets such as high speed communications where it offers the advantage of integrating mixed-signal and digital functions on the same chip.
"We have seen a significant growth in design starts for high-speed communications devices, driven in part by expansion of 100 Gigabit networks and the shift to E-band wireless infrastructure systems. Time-to-volume production is key in these fast-growing markets and having a proven silicon-germanium test and product engineering solution will be vital for our common customers' success," said Michel Villemain, Presto Engineering founder and CEO, in a statemet issued by Tower.
"Presto's hub locations in the U.S. and Israel are also well-suited to our global footprint that now includes 8-inch fabs in the U.S., Israel and Japan," said Marco Racanelli, general manager of the RF business group at Tower.