Setting World Records in Field of High Frequency Semiconductors: Infineon announces outstanding results at the IEEE International Solid-State Circuits Conference ISSCC 2002 in San Francisco
The technology developments reported by Infineon combine advanced circuit design and state-of-the-art fabrication process technology to extend the continuing upward shift in the frequency limits of CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) and SiGe process technology. The advances yield higher speeds, enabling greater integration of functions on single chips and, ultimately, reduced costs for advanced communications systems.
These excellent results are clear evidence of Infineons performance capability in the global semiconductor market, said Dr Soenke Mehrgardt, chief technology officer and member of the Infineon management board. Our 30 R&D locations worldwide and 5,000-plus employees in this area alone provide us with the best prerequisites for providing a continuous flow of innovation.
The papers presented at ISSCC, the highly regarded chip technology conference held from February 3 7 in San Francisco, describe how Infineon is accelerating the replacement of the GaAs (Gallium Arsenide) and InP (Indium Phosphide) chips now used in very high-speed data communication systems with SiGe chips that are less costly, more highly integrated and have greater bandwidth. The developments in high frequency CMOS IC technology will make smaller, less costly chips manufactured with this process suitable for applications where SiGe chips are currently required.
The papers on high-speed communications presented are summarized below. The first production-level products based on Infineons pioneering research results are expected by the beginning of 2003.
25 GHz Static Frequency Divider and 25 Gb/s Multiplexer using 0.12 um CMOS technology
Frequency dividers are basic key components for frequency synthesis as well as clock and data recovery in high-speed data communication systems. Data multiplexers are used to combine several serial data streams into a single high-speed data stream. In the past, most of these functions were realised using BiCMOS or III V technology because of the faster speed that could be achieved. However, CMOS solutions are much more economical because of the lower production costs, higher yield and greater chip density that can be achieved. The Infineon researchers set out to design circuits that fully exploited the speed potential of a 0.12 µm standard CMOS process. The results of these attempts are the record-breaking 2:1 static frequency dividers maximum operating frequency of 25 GHz and the 2:1 multiplexers maximum throughput of 25 Gbit/s. This record benchmark performance opens up new avenues in high-speed CMOS system integration.
Fully integrated 51 GHz VCO with 1V and 1mW using
standard CMOS Technology
Modern data communication systems operate at throughput of around 40 Gbit/sec., and the industry is working to achieve values in excess of 80 Gbit/sec. This very high throughput can only be achieved using ICs based on materials such as InP, GaAs and SiGe. To date, low-cost, highly integrated CMOS IC's have been announced for throughput of up to 10 Gb/sec. Researchers at Infineon have now succeeded in producing a voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO), one of the most critical elements in a data communication system, using Infineons low-cost 0.12 µm standard CMOS process. This chip has an integrated inductor and operates at the record CMOS frequency of 51 GHz. It also has the worlds lowest power consumption of 1 mW with a 1 V supply voltage. These results break new ground in the development of high-throughput system-on-a-chip ICs based on CMOS.
45 GHz SiGe Active Frequency Multiplier
Frequency multipliers handle frequency conversion in communication systems. The 45 GHz of the SiGe active frequency quadrupler developed by Infineon represents the highest frequency ever reported using silicon technology. It is a low-cost, powerful alternative to conventional GaAs and InP frequency quadruplers. The quadrupler has a bandwidth of 3 dB between 24 and 45 GHz, a new record for CMOS, and a maximum gain of +7.3 dB achieved at 44 GHz.
Future application areas for this record-breaking multiplier include wireless broadband services such as the 28 and 38 GHz American Local Multipoint Distribution Systems (LMDS), the 42 GHz European Microwave Video Distribution System (MVDS), 40.5 GHz satellite communications and 24 to 45 GHz point-to-point microwave telecommunication systems and radio relay systems.
Infineon Technologies AG, Munich, Germany, offers semiconductor and system solutions for applications in the wired and wireless communications markets, for security systems and smartcards, for the automotive and industrial sectors, as well as memory products. With a global presence, Infineon operates in the US from San Jose, CA, in the Asia-Pacific region from Singapore and in Japan from Tokyo. In the fiscal year 2001 (ending September), the company achieved sales of Euro 5.67 billion with about 33,800 employees worldwide. Infineon is listed on the DAX index of the Frankfurt Stock Exchange and on the New York Stock Exchange (ticker symbol: IFX). Further information is available at www.infineon.com.