X-FAB BiCMOS Platform Enables New Optoelectronics Applications

X-FAB Silicon Foundries, the leading analog/mixed-signal foundry and expert in “More than Moore” technologies, announced five new options for its 0.6 micrometer BiCMOS technology platform, two of which deliver first-of-a-kind capabilities for the emerging and rapidly expanding optoelectronics market. The technology advancements include a new, innovative and cost-efficient Light Shield module that overcomes previous barriers to better protect light-sensitive areas on a chip; and a new, sophisticated Blue pin module with especially high light sensitivity that approaches the theoretical limits. In addition, X-FAB announced a new Field Effect Transistor (FET) module for low-noise applications, a new polyimide option for compensation of mechanical stress, and Schottky diodes with enhanced forward current capabilities. All options are available now, and X-FAB believes no other foundry offers as wide a scope of capabilities for rapidly emerging optoelectronics applications.

X-FAB’s new Light Shield module enables the protection of light-sensitive areas on a chip by using a special protective layer of black resistive on top of passivation. Such protection is required for the non-light-sensitive parts of optoelectronic integrated circuits, and also can be used in bare-die or chip-on-board applications to cover the entire surface of the die. In contrast to the conventional way of protecting light sensitive parts by using an additional metal layer that reflects light, creating some interference and causing parasitic capacitances, X-FAB’s light shield layer offers very low transmission reflection; approximately 95 percent of the visible light is absorbed. The new Light Shield module is also more cost-effective than other approaches for protecting circuits from light.

X-FAB’s new blue PIN module with a photodiode optimized for the blue light portion of the light spectrum is especially useful for Blu-ray applications. In addition, its sensitivity for other wavelengths up to 850 nanometers makes it ideal for applications from ultraviolet to infrared.

X-FAB’s junction FET module allows special transistors to be used for low-noise applications. A newly available polyimide option – a resilient barrier layer on top of the passivation – compensates for mechanical stress, or delamination, between die and package during soldering. X-FAB also expanded its portfolio of primitive devices with additional Schottky diodes that are scaleable in layout and offer better current capability in forward mode.

Dr. Jens Kosch, chief technical officer, said, “With our comprehensive BiCMOS platform, X-FAB offers a wealth of process options and primitive devices to address the broadest range of optical applications. Today’s announcement demonstrates again X-FAB’s expertise in delivering ‘More than Moore’ technologies for our customers.”

The Light Shield process module is available now for X-FAB 0.6 micrometer BiCMOS technology. It will be available for all other X-FAB 0.6 micrometer technologies by the end of the year. The enhanced blue PIN option, polyimide layer, junction FET module and new Schottky diodes in the 0.6 micrometer BiCMOS technology (XB06) are available now.

About X-FAB
X-FAB is the leading analog/mixed-signal foundry group manufacturing silicon wafers for analog-digital integrated circuits (mixed-signal ICs). X-FAB maintains wafer production facilities in Erfurt and Dresden (Germany), Plymouth (UK), Lubbock, Texas (US) and Kuching, Sarawak (Malaysia), and employs approximately 2,600 people worldwide. Wafers are manufactured based on advanced modular CMOS and BiCMOS processes with technologies ranging from 1.0 to 0.18 micrometers, for applications primarily in the automotive, communications, consumer and industrial sectors.