NXP Commits To SiGe Roadmap As Sales Of ICODE Chips Hit A Billion

Eindhoven, Netherlands: By the end of this year, NXP Semiconductors plans to release 50 different products based on its new silicon germanium: carbide (SiGe:C) process technology. The process, dubbed QUBiC4, is designed to meet the needs of high-frequency applications in the wireless, broadband communications, networking, and multimedia markets. An advantage of the SiGe:C QUBiC4 process is that it allows manufacturers of wireless systems to add more functionality using less space. It also is said to speed migration from galliumarsenide (GaAs) technology to silicon by enabling low-noise performance and intellectual-property (IP) availability.

NXP offers three variants of the QUBiC4 technology. QUBiC4+ is a silicon-based process for applications to 5 GHz, such as medium power amplifiers. Its sibling, the QUBiC4X 0.25-m SiGe:C process, is typically used for applications to 30 GHz and very low-noise applications like GPS receivers and low-noise amplifiers (LNAs). Lastly, the recently unveiled 0.25-m QUBiC4Xi SiGe:C process, which offers a transition frequency (Ft) in excess of 200 GHz, is well suited for applications above 30 GHz and those requiring minimum noise. For the QUBiC4-based products, suitable high-frequency applications will demand high integration levels. Examples will range from mobile platforms and personal navigation devices to AESA radars, satellite DBS/VSAT, e-metering, software-defined radios (SDRs), base stations, point-to-point radio links, and WLAN.

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