Tuesday, June 18, 2013

X-FAB optimizes 180nm process for portable analog apps

GERMANY:  X-FAB Silicon Foundries has enhanced the XP018 process with multiple options to lower chip costs for high-performance analog applications such as audio, sensor interface and 5V-environment power management applications. These options make the XP018 ideal for cost-sensitive consumer applications that require analog integration in 180nm technologies.

X-FAB lowers chip cost for analog designs in several ways with its XP018 process. The newly introduced single-voltage 5V option reduces overall mask count by eliminating the 1.8V portion, a valuable consideration for cost-sensitive mobile applications.

The 5V environment with I/O cells, digital library, OTP memory and analog blocks comes fully compatible with all XP018 high-voltage options, making it ideal for any type of device drivers. Combining it with new Ron-optimized 12V transistors minimizes the required silicon area for piezo or capacitive device driver applications. In addition, an OTP memory compiler for the 5V module is available for trimming purposes up to 16k bit; it complements the existing poly fuses for low trim bit count.

Application-adaptable metal wiring – a novel metal module concept first introduced in the XP018 platform – also saves design costs. It allows flexible, area-efficient placement of MIM capacitors within the metal stack.

Finally, a 60V metal fringe capacitor and a medium-resistance poly with 1kOhm per square make it easier to design high-voltage applications within a 60V power supply environment.

Sebastian Schmidt, product marketing manager for X-FAB’s High Voltage product line, said: “This new process capability really offers some great benefits for our customers. With this competitive 20-layer process, they can build their mixed-signal SoCs by taking advantage of the 180nm logic packing density and competitive push-pull drivers for voltage ranges of 5V, 12V and up to 50V – further enhanced by the availability of NVM blocks. Therefore, this is the ideal technology to use for smart drivers and smart analog ICs.”

The newly enhanced XP018 is automotive qualified – an X-FAB standard feature, – and offers full PDK support and operating temperatures from -40 to 175 degrees Celsius.

The enhanced XP018 platform is available now, so designers can benefit from these options right away.

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