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22 January 2008


TriQuint unveils optical lithography foundry process for high-volume, commercial millimeter-wave products

TriQuint Semiconductor of Hillsboro, OR, USA, the world’s largest GaAs foundry supplier, has unveiled TQP13-N, its latest process technology for designing and manufacturing cost-effective, high- frequency millimeter-wave products for the commercial marketplace. Designed using its patented transistor technology, which replaces traditional electron-beam gate lithography with optical gate lithography, the firm claims that its TQP13-N process offers dramatic cost savings over current millimeter-wave technologies.

Historically, millimeter-wave applications, which operate at frequencies up to 95GHz, have been limited to military and other low-volume products due to high cost. TriQuint says that t he TQP13-N process can broaden the market for higher-frequency applications, such as mobile satellite TV, WirelessHD and adaptive cruise control (ACC), by offering a cost-effective solution for high-volume millimetre-wave products. Market research firm Gartner notes that the global penetration rate for ACC is currently just 1%, but it expects that by 2015 more than half of all new cars will be fitted with ACC or some variant.

“Over 40% of all minivans, full-size sports-utility vehicles (SUVs) and luxury SUVs manufactured in the last two years featured rear-seat entertainment systems or LCD screens, providing a broad customer base capable of integrating aftermarket mobile satellite TV systems,” adds Frost & Sullivan program manager Sandeep Kar.

“High-frequency applications have been considered too expensive for use in commercial markets. With TQP13-N, TriQuint is offering a disruptive new technology at a price point that can drive the volume needed to be successful,” says Mike Peters, director of marketing for TriQuint’s Commercial Foundry. TQP13-N, together with TriQuint’s design tools, application support and GaAs foundry services, offers manufacturers the opportunity to broaden their presence in existing markets and develop innovative new uses for millimeter-wave applications, reckons Peters.

TriQuint says that TQP13-N is enabled by a unique, low-cost 150mm GaAs wafer manufacturing process that incorporates a highly repeatable optically defined 0.13 micron self-aligned gate pHEMT field-effect transistor (FET) using a highly reliable refractory gate metal system, coupled with high-density capacitors, epitaxial and nichrome resistors, and two layers of gold interconnect. The use of optically defined gates greatly reduces the cost of production compared to similar processes based on electron-beam gate lithography.

The firm says that the process is in production, and device samples and design kits are now available.

See related items:

TriQuint ships new dual-band WiFi front-end modules

TriQuint launches BiHEMT GaAs process, integrating HBTs and pHEMTs for single-chip RF

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