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5 April 2016

TowerJazz adds 300GHz S4 process to SiGe Terabit Platform

Specialty foundry TowerJazz (which has fabrication plants at Tower Semiconductor Ltd in Migdal Haemek, Israel, and at its subsidiaries Jazz Semiconductor Inc in Newport Beach, CA, USA and TowerJazz Japan Ltd) has announced its SiGe Terabit Platform, targeting high-speed wireline communications for the terabit age. 

Wireline data traffic is increasing dramatically, with traffic at Google notably increasing by 50 times over the last 6-7 years (75% per year). Estimates vary, but experts agree on double-digit compound annual growth rates (CAGRs) and a 2020 market for high-speed optical components in excess of $9bn. 

TowerJazz says that it is addressing this market through a family of customized foundry silicon-germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS technologies and is now announcing availability of its highest-performance process to date: S4. Customers include manufacturers of components for carrying high-speed data traffic, such as Broadcom, Inphi, MACOM, Maxim, Maxlinear and Semtech.

SiGe Terabit Platform – HX, H2, H3, H4, S4

TowerJazz's SiGe Terabit Platform includes advanced CMOS, together with low-noise, high-speed and high-power SiGe devices and unique patented features that enable what is claimed to be best-in-class performance for the most demanding ICs in high-speed communication links. These components include, for example, trans-impedance amplifiers (TIAs) on the receive path and laser drivers on the transmit path.

The addition of S4 to the SiGe Terabit Platform extends the firm's history of process technologies that include HX and H2 (addressing 10-28Gbps requirements), H3 with SiGe speeds of 280GHz (addressing requirements up to 100Gbps), and now H4 and S4 with transistor speeds that exceed 300GHz and can reduce power consumption by nearly an order of magnitude.

TowerJazz says that two recent demonstrations, both in H3 technology, showcase the value of the SiGe Terabit Platform.

The first is the demonstration by University of California, Irvine (UCI) of TIA performance at 50Gbps, as reported at the 2015 IEEE Bipolar/BiCMOS Circuits and Technology Meeting (BCTM). "We measured up to 70Gbps data rate, using a NRZ (non-return to zero) architecture with an eye of 50Gbps," notes Dr Payam Heydari, IEEE Distinguished Lecturer & Full Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at UCI. "We estimate this chip will consume less than 0.5mW per GHz."

The second is Bell Labs (the innovation engine of Nokia) with its demonstration of a 112Gbps transceiver, as reported at the 2015 IEEE Compound Semiconductor IC Symposium (CSICS). "To my knowledge, this is the world's first demonstration of a >100GBs serial datalink built with a silicon IC," says Bell Labs technical manager Dr Shahriar Shahramian (lead author in the publication). "56GBaud, 4-PAM transmission over 2km of SSMF (single-mode fiber) has been experimentally demonstrated," he adds.

"These demonstrations used our H3 process and each represents record performance in data rate, as well as demonstrating new standards in data transmission over single-mode fiber," says TowerJazz executive director & fellow Dr David Howard. The newest process, S4, enables the SiGe Terabit Platform to deliver higher speed and lower power, he adds.

Tags: TowerJazz RF CMOS SiGe

Visit: www.towerjazz.com

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