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Cost-effective semiconductor technologies for RF and microwave applications

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1 Author(s)
Snowden, Christopher M. ; Univ. of Surrey, Guildford, UK

Microwave systems designers have a wide choice of semiconductor technologies for applications up to 100 GHz. While there is a natural tendency to choose integrated silicon as the technology of choice for most RFIC applications below 2 GHz and for many applications at higher frequencies, there are many other options available which can offer cost-competitive and performance-enhancing solutions. This presentation will examine the current state-of-the-art in microwave and RF semiconductor technologies set against economic pressures which demand the lowest cost solution while meeting technical performance requirements, reliability and reproducibility. The presentation will examine factors affecting the wafer cost or equivalent die cost for various microwave technologies and the significance of mask set costs for some choices. The need for high yields and larger diameter wafer technology to reduce die costs led to 6" (150 mm) wafer diameters becoming an industry standard for compound semiconductors. The presentation will conclude by offering some insight into emerging technologies and their potential performance advantages for microwave and RF applications.

Published in:

Radio Frequency Integrated Circuits Symposium, 2009. RFIC 2009. IEEE

Date of Conference:

7-9 June 2009