Electronics & Computers

X-FAB Optimizes XP018 Process

June 18, 2013

The enhancements of the 18 µm, mixed-signal power management technology reduce chip costs for high-performance, portable analog applications.

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

X-FAB lowers chip cost for analog designs in several ways with its XP018 process:

  • The newly introduced single-voltage 5 V option reduces overall mask count by eliminating the 1.8 V portion, a valuable consideration for cost-sensitive mobile applications.

  • The 5 V 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 12 V transistors minimizes the required silicon area for piezo or capacitive device driver applications. In addition, an OTP memory compiler for the 5 V 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 60 V metal fringe capacitor and a medium-resistance poly with 1 kΩ per square make it easier to design high-voltage applications within a 60 V 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 180 nm logic packing density and competitive push-pull drivers for voltage ranges of 5 V, 12 V, and up to 50 V—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°C to 175°C.

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

About X-FAB
X-FAB Silicon Foundries is a leading analog/mixed-signal foundry group, manufacturing silicon wafers for analog-digital integrated circuits (mixed-signal ICs). X-FAB maintains wafer production facilities in Erfurt, Dresden, and Itzehoe, (Germany); Lubbock, TX (U.S.); and Kuching, Sarawak (Malaysia), and employs approximately 2,400 people worldwide. It manufactures wafers based on advanced modular CMOS and BiCMOS processes, with technologies ranging from 1.0 to 0.13 µm, for applications primarily in the automotive, communications, consumer, and industrial sectors.

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