X-FAB Expands Process Options for CMOS Technology

Erfurt, Germany, May 14, 2003.

X-FAB Group, the mixed signal foundry based in Erfurt, Germany, today announced a new development that makes photodiodes for analog applications available to its customers for the first time. The advancement is X-FAB's latest in a string of successes in bringing the outstanding features of CMOS processes to new analog applications. X-FAB's new photodiodes have a spectral sensitivity comparable to the human eye and, furthermore, are suitable for infrared applications. Native CMOS diodes are the technological foundation.

X-FAB's expanded process options include integration of the photodiode and circuit on one chip, allowing electronic devices to receive several concurrent signals, including weak and noisy ones. The process also enables high data transfer rates. An optional antireflective coating reduces the loss of light energy to a minimum and requires only marginal process modifications. An additional supplementary function includes a patented PIN diode construction, which allows high-frequency implementations up to 1 GHz.

The application fields for the technology are diverse, including consumer-product industries, automotive and communications technologies, industrial electronics and others. Infrared applications are especially well suited for photodiodes, such as intelligent light barriers or sensors for position control. Finally, the process also enables rapid, multi-channel data transfer.

"The CMOS technology presents an ideal process platform for integrating optical sensors with CMOS circuits. We felt it necessary to capitalize on this opportunity and offer it to our customers," said Dr. Konrad Bach, Manager CMOS Development. "Usage of photodiodes is possible for all CMOS and BiCMOS processes offered by the X-FAB Group - of course with the same design support."

About X-FAB
X-FAB is an independently-owned, mixed-signal foundry with headquarters in Erfurt, Germany. The company has three manufacturing sites: X-FAB Semiconductor Foundries AG (Erfurt, Germany), X-FAB UK Ltd. (Plymouth, United Kingdom) and X-FAB Texas Inc. (Lubbock, Texas), with a combined capacity of approx. 8,000 8-inch equivalent wafer starts per week. Worldwide, X-FAB has more than 900 employees.