Home > Sapphicon Semiconductor use Silicon-on-Sapphire semiconductor process technology for unique chip design

Sapphicon Semiconductor use Silicon-on-Sapphire semiconductor process technology for unique chip design

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article image Silicon-on-Sapphire semiconductor process technology is ideal for unique chip design

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.

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