X-FAB and IHP Leibniz Institute sign SiGe BiCMOS licensing agreement

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X-FAB Silicon Foundries, the analogue/mixed-signal and specialty foundry, has announced the expansion of its longstanding partnership with the Leibniz Institute for High Performance Microelectronics (IHP).

As part of a new agreement, X-FAB will now license IHP’s cutting-edge SiGe technology. It will mean the performance benefits of this technology can be brought to high-volume customers.

Significantly strengthening the X-FAB technology portfolio, the newly created 130nm platform provides a solution capable of attaining the elevated performance needed to address next generation communication requirements.

Examples of areas that will benefit from this technology include Wi-Fi 6 (and future Wi-Fi 7) access points, plus next generation cellular infrastructure (in particular 5G mmW and emerging 6G standards) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication. This technology will also be pivotal in the development of +100 GHz radar systems, for use in both automotive and consumer applications.

This license agreement follows on from the collaborative work that began in 2021, where X-FAB’s copper backend was added to IHP’s SG13S and SG13G2 frontend technologies to boost the bandwidth figures that could be supported. In relation to this innovative SiGe platform, X-FAB is set to start engaging with selected early adopters on prototyping projects during Q4 2022. An early-access PDK is available enabling Prototyping, while volume manufacturing will happen at X-FAB France, the company’s facility near Paris.

According to Prof. Gerhard Kahmen, Scientific Director at IHP, ”The incorporation of IHP’s HBTs into X-FAB’s RF platform will provide customers with a truly differentiated SiGe BiCMOS technology that is certain to bring tangible performance benefits. The technology transfer between our two organizations is a perfect example of how industry and research institutions can work together to achieve outstanding results.”

“X-FAB and IHP have a successful track record of combining our respective resources to develop advanced semiconductor solutions, and this latest SiGe announcement takes that on to a whole new exciting phase,” added Dr. Greg U’Ren, RF Technology Director at X-FAB. “This is the starting point for us to make further SiGe BiCMOS related innovations that will contribute to defining the communications sector in the years ahead, covering industrial automation, consumer and automotive use cases.”