Science-Based Industrial Park, Hsinchu, Taiwan, August 8, 2000 -- Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (NYSE: TSM), the world’s leading semiconductor foundry, today announced the production-readiness of the industry’s first 0.18-micron mixed signal and RF CMOS processes. The mixed signal process is in production now, with several customer tape-outs already under way. The RF CMOS process is also ready for production, with first customer product tape-outs expected to be completed in September. Initial customer test chips have yielded functional silicon, including a voltage-controlled oscillator (VCO) and a low noise amplifier (LNA) registering 2.4 GHz.
In addition, the company has unveiled a comprehensive design kit for mixed signal and RF integrated circuits. The design kit includes complete device and component libraries and their associated databases; design guidelines; and models for both the baseband and RF band. The plug-in databases and models are completely ready-to-use, significantly reducing the design cycle. All of these developments are expected to open the door to accurate performance predictions and higher levels of integration for products in the communications and consumer products semiconductor markets.
“The rapidly expanding communications market requires a range of advanced processes to enable new, high value-added applications,” said Mike Pawlik, vice president of corporate marketing for TSMC. “In addition to being the world’s leading foundry, TSMC has more application-specific process technologies than any other foundry. Our advanced 0.18-micron mixed signal and RF processes provide an ideal platform for the cutting edge in communications applications.
“In addition,” Mr. Pawlik continued, “Our comprehensive design kit allows customers to reduce guesswork and increase design success, significantly compressing the concept-to-silicon cycle. We believe customers can realize a three- to six-month reduction in the design time, depending on the design.”
TSMC’s mixed signal and RF processes have been specially developed to meet the needs of the fast-changing telecommunications market. These processes enable smaller device dimensions, increased performance with lower costs than current BiCMOS and gallium arsenide alternatives. In addition, TSMC’s mixed signal and RF processes include all the necessary building blocks for communications applications such as switches, transceivers, set-top boxes, and the latest in Bluetooth designs.
About 0.18-micron Mixed Signal and RF Processes
TSMC’s 0.18-micron mixed-signal and RF processes represent an aggressive advancement in the company’s industry-leading mixed signal/RF roadmap, which began with the 0.25 micron generation. The processes are fully compatible with TSMC’s industry-leading 0.18-micron process and feature a core voltage of 1.8 volts and I/O voltage of 3.3-volts. The optimized process has an NMOS fT of 62 GHz, creating very high operation frequency while coupled to a deep n-well option that provides a noise transmission reduction of 25 dB less than traditional twin well processes.
Designers can add 1.8V and 3.3V transistors for mixed-signal cores and I/Os; precision capacitors and resistors for high-performance mixed-signal functions; and high-quality inductors, varactors, and diodes for RF functions. Two enhanced varactors using novel topology – an NMOS varactor and an Nwell junction varactor – provide an extremely high Q-factor (ratio of energy stored to energy dissipated) relative to the standard varactors available in TSMC’s 0.18-micron CMOS logic process. These new varactors enable improvements in phase-locked loops (PLLs), clocks and other components used in a variety of communications devices.
About the Mixed Signal/RF Design Kit
The design kit includ