LONDON – Fabless chip company Dialog Semiconductor plc is planning to use a 130-nm BCD process from leading foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. for power management ICs.
Dialog (Kirchheim-unter-Teck, Germany), a developer of integrated power management, audio and short range wireless ICs, claimed that the BCD process – combining bipolar, CMOS and DMOS high voltage power modules – is the industry's first BCD tailored for mobile devices at such an advanced minimum geometry. Dialog expects to design PMICs using the process aimed at smartphones, tablet computers and so-called ultrabooks.
There is speculation that deal is preparatory to the manufacture of
higher performance PMICs to be included in Apple iPhones and iPads,
strengthening ties between Apple and TSMC.
BCD processes support the integration of logic, analog and high-voltage features, including FET type transistors. The move to 130-nm improves power efficiency through a reduction of Rds(on), leading to more energy efficient IC designs.
"Through close collaboration with TSMC we succeeded to increase our chip shipments by a staggering 61 percent last year, while at the same time accelerating the development of our next generation of PMICs through this BCD process partnership," said Jalal Bagherli, CEO of Dialog Semiconductor, in a statement. "We will continue to work closely with TSMC to fuel our leadership position as the analogue industry moves towards 300-mm wafers."
Several Dialog IP blocks for incorporation into Dialog's next generation PMICs have been developed on the TSMC 0.13-micron BCD process and their performance is being qualified, Dialog said. The first 130-nm BCD chips based on these blocks are expected to be available by the end of the year.
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