Semiconductor manufacturer, Sapphicon Semiconductor , using Silicon-on-Sapphire process technology to design chips and create technologies which are not possible with traditional silicon processes.
Silicon-on-Sapphire is an ideal process for RF applications as well as advanced mixed signal/analog chip designs that combine logic, memory, analog circuitry and passives (inductors and capacitors) on chip.
In a Silicon-on-Sapphire semiconductor process, integrated circuits are created in a thin layer of silicon on an insulating substrate of sapphire, the ideal silicon on insulator process.
Silicon-on-Sapphire is not a boutique semiconductor technology and therefore can be produced in normal high volume CMOS wafer fabs to allow an almost unlimited growth path.
Sapphicon Semiconductor use the unique properties of Silicon-on-Sapphire to create mixed signal custom chip designs and a range of standard products. This Silicon-on-Sapphire semiconducter process achieves outstanding performance characteristics such as:
- lower power consumption
- operation over a wider frequency range
- lower noise figures
- higher frequency
- lower jitter specifications.
Sapphicon Semiconductors works with aerospace and defence organisations to produce advanced chip designs in wireless applications such as communications, surveillance, GPS, and radar applications. Silicon-on-Sapphire semiconductor process technology has also been proven ideal for electronics used in space applications as it is immune to the effects of radiation.
Chips made using Silicon-on-Sapphire semiconductor process technology also work well at cryogenic temperatures.
Circuits based on Silicon-on-Sapphire technology are also ideal for use in a range communications equipment and RF applications such as:
- mobile phone base stations
- smart phones
- satellite communications
- cable TV.
Key features of Silicon-on-Sapphire semiconductor process technology include:
- Little or no parasitic capacitance
- Fully depleted transistors
- Very high Fmax (100GHz on 0.25μm device)
- Standard CMOS processing
- Integrated EEPROM with no extra masks
- Very linear 3 terminal MOSFET devices (+38dBm IP3 mixers)
- High Q Inductors (Q > 40 at 2GHz for 5 nH inductor)
- Good thermal properties
- Multiple threshold voltage options
- Insulating substrate with fully depleted transistors
Key benefits of using Silicon-on-Sapphire semiconductor process technology include:
- Higher speeds and lower power consumption
- Faster switching speeds and lower noise
- Ideal for high frequency RF applications
- Low cost with high performance
- EEPROM works well – even at low voltages.
- Excellent for demanding analog designs
- Save cost by integrating passives on chip
- No self-heating problems - unlike other SOI technologies that use SiO2 as the insulator
- Can mix high and low voltages on same chip
- Radiation Hardness
The team at Sapphicon Semiconductor has been assisting customers in increasing the performance and functionality of their products for over 20 years. Sapphicon is currently working on a range of new technologies based on Silicon-on-Sapphire semiconductor process technology, which will be announced as they are released.