The broadband data boom and associated evolving telecommunication standards are calling for high-performing devices with ever increasing circuit complexity. New high data-rate services are driving the use of higher operating frequencies on optical and wireless systems, while requiring greater chip integration, reduced power consumption and optimized costs.
New Microwave applications such as Automotive Radars (24/77GHz), Satellite Communications, LAN RF transceivers (60GHz), Point-to-Point radio (V-Band/E-Band), Defense, Security or Instrumentation are also extremely demanding of RF performance and operating conditions.
To support this demand, ST is investing aggressively in BiCMOS technology that provides the optimal answer for those needs.
BiCMOS: the best of two worlds
BiCMOS combines the strengths of two different process technologies into a single chip: Bipolar transistors offer high speed and gain, which are critical for high-frequency analog sections, whereas CMOS technology excels for constructing simple, low-power logic gates.
By integrating the RF, analog and digital parts on a single chip, ST’s BiCMOS SiGe (Silicon-Germanium) technology drastically reduces the number of external components while optimizing power consumption.
ST’s BiCMOS process technology today offers a level of performance attainable in the recent past only with more expensive technologies such as gallium arsenide (GaAS), while providing a significant advantage in integration.
Compared to bulk CMOS, the BiCMOS Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor (HBT) allows a much higher cut-off frequency at a given technology node. To reach similar frequency, bulk CMOS designs have to use much smaller process nodes, forcing compromises on the design and leading most of the time to overall lower performance and higher cost.
Thus, thanks to its better cost profile compared to the alternatives, ST’s BiCMOS enables new business cases.
ST leads in BiCMOS process technology
With strong know-how in design, architecture and process integration, STMicroelectronics offers a leading-edge SiGe BiCMOS technology, enabling the design of high-performance RF ICs.
Today, ST’s BiCMOS technology can be found in most of the wireless base stations and optical transceivers around the world as well as in wireless terminals, automotive radars and instrumentation solutions.
Providing the most advanced technologies
Designed with a true mixed-signal approach in mind, ST’s BiCMOS process family provides all the technologies for optimal product design, including:
- A wide range of MOS and Bipolar transistors
- V-PNP, DMOS, Dual-Gate Oxide MOS
- SiGe-C HBT for the best speed-to-noise ratio
- >Millimeter-wave dedicated metal layers (Thick Copper) for high-Q inductance and low-loss transmission lines
Combined with High-Resistivity substrate and Deep-Trench Isolation techniques, ST’s BiCMOS process offers best-in class isolation for effective integration of RF blocks.
A complete offering for optimal design and manufacturing
ST’s BiCMOS design platform, is supported by leading-edge CAD tools in a complete and effective design flow, including a very accurate set of simulation models. Its effectiveness has been already proven by many customers on successful IC designs.
ST can synchronize with many different business models for its BiCMOS technology; from a pure foundry service to a range of services for ASIC design, development and support. This flexibility allows ST to provide the most appropriate answer to meet any customer requirements.
ST’s extensive experience on a wide range of analog, RF and digital IPs, developed on its BiCMOS technology eases the customers’ product design and ensures fast time-to-market.