SAN JOSE, Calif. – The first generation of analog products made in a sub-100nm analog process technology is about to debut from Maxim Integrated, an enabler for its integration strategy. In a wide-ranging interview, Maxim Integrated chief executive Tunç Doluca talks about the new process, gives an update on his strategy and shares thoughts on Intel, Samsung and China.
Analog designs don’t benefit from finer process technologies--in fact they become more problematic. Thus many designs are still made in 250 and 350 nm processes.
Maxim’s current “workhorse” is its 180nm process with support for 70-80V transistors, said Doluca. The same is roughly true for analog giant Texas Instruments and others such as On Semiconductor, said Stephan Ohr, analog analyst at Gartner Inc.
Maxim aims to differentiate itself by building application-specific, integrated analog and digital parts in addition to the standard analog building blocks made by competitors such as TI and Linear. The new Maxim process appears to be motivated by both types of designs.
Analyst Ohr speculates Maxim’s new process could use thinner vertical cell structures to reduce die area. Alternatively, it might be a planar process that doesn’t require more area to support higher current, he said.
Doluca won several patents at Maxim, many on notebook power management designs.