Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:VTSS) announced the availability of its Indium Phosphide foundry services for designers of next generation high performance integrated circuits (ICs) and optoelectronic integrated circuits (OEICs). Vitesse's Indium Phosphide (VIP) is ideally suited for fiber-based networks, including SONET OC-768 and 100Gb/s Ethernet, wireless and RF applications, or any application requiring the mutual benefits of very high gain bandwidth product and high breakdown voltage. Vitesse currently uses VIP for the fabrication of its own line of fiber-based network products and is now making this high-performance technology available to foundry customers.
Optical integration is also available in the form of on-chip photodetectors, reducing the number of components required in an optical receiver. InP is uniquely capable of integrating long-wavelength 1510nm detectors with other electronic components. The resulting products will enable the development of single chip integrated receive electronics from 2.5Gb/s to 40Gb/s and beyond. (see diagram at end)
Vitesse's proprietary InP process is based on a vertical NPN bipolar transistor. A single heterojunction (SHBT) transistor process is in pre-production now with a double heterojunction (DHBT) process, with higher breakdown voltage, available in the early fall. A third variation ideal for the integration of detectors with electronics is also available. An Ft of 150GHz and an Fmax of 150GHz at a breakdown voltage of 4.2 Volts is available in the SHBT process. Three layers of aluminum interconnect metal, precision resistors and MIM capacitors complete this process.
"Our InP process is ideally suited to the fabrication of ICs with high breakdown voltage and fast edge rates needed for 40+Gb/s network equipment. Peak transistor performance is achieved at low current density for superior thermal management," stated Alan Huelsman, director of Vitesse's InP Program. With Vitesse's InP process, customers can obtain performance that isn't available in SiGe, CMOS, or other commercially available III-V processes. In addition, Vitesse sees a clear path to drive oscillation frequency above 250GHz while reducing power by a factor of five. "Forty gigabits per second (40Gb/s) is just the beginning for InP. Significant performance gains will be made through continued transistor scaling over the next couple years," concluded Huelsman.
Vitesse VIP process uses standard Si process equipment and manufacturing techniques. Standard aluminum metalization is used as opposed to Au metals, lift-off and air-bridges used by competing foundries. Proprietary contacts for high-temperature processing allow the use of aluminum interconnects and oxide dielectrics. Vitesse has leveraged its experience in III-V compounds that it gained through five generations of H-GaAs process development. InP foundry wafers from Vitesse are manufactured and delivered to a set of specs, in comparison to deliveries made on a 'best effort' basis by traditional aerospace foundries.
InP foundry services are available from Vitesse in two ways. Customers can sign up for a partnership agreement, which provides full access to the process and manufacturing rights at very reasonable per wafer cost, or they can purchase multi-project wafers for the purpose of design and process verification. Reasonable access fees make the process widely available.
Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation is a designer and supplier of innovative, high- performance integrated circuits (ICs) used in next generation networking and optical communications equipment. For more information, visit www.vitesse.com.