X-FAB Unveils New Ultra-Low-Noise Transistors with Industry-Leading Performance Utilizing its 180 nm CMOS Platform

 
Erfurt, Germany, 11/29/2017.

New XH018 transistors improve flicker noise up to a factor of 10 in order to target noise-sensitive applications

X-FAB, the leading More-than-Moore foundry, today announced the expansion of its low-noise transistor portfolio based on the company’s proprietary 180 nm XH018 mixed-signal CMOS technology. Three new transistors are now available: a 1.8 V low-noise NMOS, a 3.3 V low-noise NMOS and a 3.3 V low-noise PMOS – all of which offer drastically reduced flicker noise compared to standard CMOS offerings. 

These transistors are mainly designed for sensor deployments which require very low-noise signal amplification to achieve high signal-to-noise ratio (SNR). Among the key target applications are analog and digital microphone amplifiers, which are widely used in mobile phones and headsets, as well as implantable medical devices, such as pacemakers.

The new 1.8 V low-noise NMOS transistor introduced by X-FAB delivers an improvement factor of eight times lower flicker noise compared to the standard XH018 device. The new 3.3 V low-noise NMOS transistor gives up to ten times lower flicker noise, while the flicker noise for the 3.3 V low-noise PMOS transistor that complements it is halved for all drain currents.

Flicker noise, also known as 1/f noise, is the dominant noise at low frequencies, between 1 Hz to 1 MHz. For applications working in this spectrum, it is important that the flicker noise is kept to a minimal level. 

Using the new complementary low-noise 3.3 V transistors makes it easier for designers to realize noise-critical designs, enabling them to achieve a high SNR - as required, for example, by digital amplifier ICs. Designers can also benefit from more accurate models which are supplied in the new BSIM4 format. With this, the chances for achieving first-time-right implementation of complex analog circuits are significantly improved.

Luigi Di Capua, Director Marketing at X-FAB, commented: “X-FAB has been setting the benchmark for low-noise performance in its 350 nm technology for many years. We are proud to now also offer industry-leading low-noise devices via our 180 nm XH018 platform. By adding just one extra mask layer, all three ultra-low-noise transistors can be incorporated into noise-sensitive circuit designs.”

Availability
The new 180 nm low-noise CMOS transistors, integrated within the XH018 process design kit (PDK), are available immediately for new designs. Noise parameters are included within the device models to facilitate an accurate simulation of the noise behavior of a circuit, before it is actually implemented.

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About X-FAB Silicon Foundries
X-FAB is the leading analog/mixed-signal and MEMS foundry group manufacturing silicon wafers for automotive, industrial, consumer, medical and other applications. Its customers worldwide benefit from the highest quality standards, manufacturing excellence and innovative solutions by using X-FAB’s modular CMOS processes in geometries ranging from 1.0 to 0.13 µm, and its special BCD, SOI and MEMS long-lifetime processes. X-FAB’s analog-digital integrated circuits (mixed-signal ICs), sensors and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) are manufactured at six production facilities in Germany, France, Malaysia and the U.S. X-FAB employs more than 3,800 people worldwide. 


X-FAB Press Contact
Thomas Hartung
VP Sales & Corporate Marketing
X-FAB Silicon Foundries
+49-361-427-6160
Thomas.Hartung(at)xfab.com

 
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Alba Morganti joins X-FAB as CFO

 
NEWS, 09/22/2017.

Tessenderlo, Belgium – September 22nd, 2017, 6.00 pm CEST

X-FAB Silicon Foundries, one of the world’s leading specialty foundry groups, appoints Alba Morganti as Chief Financial Officer effective November 1st, 2017. She will be succeeding the company’s current CFO, Chris Förster, who will leave X-FAB at the end of this year.

Alba Morganti started her career at Sanpaolo IMI bank as Credit & Large Corporate Manager. In 2001, she joined Duferco Group as Structured Finance Director for the European Industrial Group companies. After the takeover of the European assets by NLMK Group, Alba Morganti served as Corporate Finance Director for all European subsidiaries. In 2014, she became group CFO and Executive Board Member of SMT Group, a distributor of Volvo trucks, bus and equipment. Alba Morganti is specialized in commercial management and marketing and holds a master degree in financial and commercial sciences.

 
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X-FAB Sarawak receives Asia’s Best Employer Brand Award

 
Sarawak, Malaysia, 09/06/2017.


X-FAB Sarawak Sdn. Bhd. was awarded with Asia’s Best Employer Brand Award 2017 in a ceremony held at Sentosa Island in Singapore on August 1st, 2017 and attended by more than 200 senior leaders from over 36 Asian countries. The semiconductor manufacturer that is part of the X-FAB group employing more than 1,200 people in its Malaysia facility, received recognition for its outstanding employer branding activities.   This award has distinguished X-FAB Sarawak for its excellent practices in building the company brand through its talent management, employee engagement, performance management, reward & recognition and employee development. Prior to this, X-FAB Sarawak had won the ‘HR ASIA Best Companies to Work for in Asia 2015’.

Maureen Labarge, X-FAB Sarawak’s HR Director who received the award on behalf of the organization stated: “Winning yet another award signifies our commitment and dedication to providing a conducive, dynamic and stimulating work environment that offers our employees the opportunities to realize their full potential and provide the highest level of product and services to our customers. This recognition certainly re-affirms our HR strategies in attracting, developing and retaining our best talents to ensure we get the right people into the right roles and focusing on the right priorities. This award certainly would not be ours if it wasn’t because of each and every one of our employees living our values; Commitment, Integrity & respect, Teamwork, Innovation & Customer Orientation over the past many years!”

The 8th Asia’s Best Employer Brand Awards was hosted by the Employer Branding Institute, World HRD Congress & Stars of the Industry Group. 

 
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X-FAB and Exagan Successfully Produce First GaN-on-Silicon Devices on 200-mm Wafers

 
Erfurt, Germany, 05/10/2017.

Silicon Foundry and GaN Start-Up Achieve Major Milestone in Establishing a 200-mm, Fully CMOS-Compatible Process While GaN Power Products Gain Market Traction

X-FAB Silicon Foundries and Exagan, a start-up innovator of gallium-nitride (GaN) semiconductor technology enabling smaller and more efficient electrical converters, have demonstrated mass-production capability to manufacture highly efficient high-voltage power devices on 200-mm GaN-on-silicon wafers using X-FAB’s standard CMOS production facility in Dresden, Germany. This accomplishment is the result of a joint development agreement launched in 2015, enabling cost/performance advantages that could not be achieved with smaller wafers.

Exagan and X-FAB have successfully resolved many of the challenges related to material stress, defectivity and process integration while using standard fabrication equipment and process recipes. Combined with the use of 200-mm wafers, this will significantly lower the cost of mass producing GaN-on-silicon devices. By enabling greater power integration than silicon ICs, GaN devices can improve the efficiency and reduce the cost of electrical converters, which will accelerate their adoption in applications including electrical vehicle charging stations, servers, automobiles and industrial systems.

The new GaN-on-silicon devices have been built using substrates fabricated at Exagan’s 200-mm epi-manufacturing facility in Grenoble, France. These epi wafers meet the physical and electrical specifications to produce Exagan’s 650-volt G-FET™ devices as well as the tight requirements for compatibility with CMOS manufacturing lines.

The industry’s previous work with GaN had been limited to 100-mm and 150-mm wafers due to the challenges of layering GaN films on silicon substrates. Exagan’s G-Stack™ technology enables GaN-on-silicon devices to be manufactured more cost effectively on 200-mm substrates by depositing a unique stack of GaN and strain-management layers that relieves the stress between GaN and silicon layers. The resulting devices have been shown to exhibit high breakdown voltage, low vertical leakage and high-temperature operation.

“This is a major milestone in our company’s development as we accelerate product development and qualification,” said Frédéric Dupont, president and CEO of Exagan. “It demonstrates the combined strengths of our epi material, X-FAB’s wafer fab process and our device design capabilities. It also confirms the success of our vertically integrated fab-lite model, with expertise from materials to devices and applications. It’s perfect timing to establish GaN technology and products on the most competitive 200-mm platform just as GaN power products are getting broad traction in IT server, consumer electronics and automotive markets.”

“We have high confidence in Exagan’s leadership team and product performance roadmap,” said Rudi De Winter, CEO of X-FAB. “Through this productive partnership, X-FAB is leveraging its resources and expertise to bring Exagan’s technology into manufacturing and provide the power conversion market with a reliable supply chain.”

Exagan will showcase its innovative GaN technology and G-FET transistors in booth #9-230 at the PCIM Europe trade show, May 16-18 in Nuremberg, Germany.

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About X-FAB
X-FAB is the leading analog/mixed-signal and MEMS foundry group manufacturing silicon wafers for automotive, industrial, consumer, medical and other applications. Its customers worldwide benefit from the highest quality standards, manufacturing excellence and innovative solutions by using X-FAB’s modular CMOS processes in geometries ranging from 1.0 to 0.13 µm, and its special BCD, SOI and MEMS long-lifetime processes. X-FAB’s analog-digital integrated circuits (mixed-signal ICs), sensors and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) are manufactured at six production facilities in Germany, France, Malaysia and the U.S. X-FAB employs approximately 3,800 people worldwide. 

About Exagan
Founded in 2014 with support from CEA-Leti and Soitec, Exagan’s mission is to accelerate the power-electronics industry’s transition from silicon-based technology to GaN-on-silicon technology, enabling smaller and more efficient electrical converters. Its GaN power switches are designed for manufacturing in standard 200-mm wafer fabs to provide high-performance, high-reliability products through a robust supply chain. The company’s G-FET products offer very high power-switching performance with extremely low conduction losses, enabling unprecedented power integration and efficiency levels in electrical converters for applications including solar power, automotive and IT electronics. Exagan is based in Grenoble, France. For more information, visit www.exagan.com.

G-FET and G-Stack are trademarks of Exagan.

 

X-FAB Contact:

Thomas Hartung
VP Sales & Corporate Marketing
+49-361-427-6160
thomas.hartung(at)xfab.com

Exagan Contact:

Frédéric Dupont
President and CEO
+33-4-38-78-33-07
Frederic.dupont(at)exagan.com

 

 

 
Files:
Press_Release_X-FAB_and_Exagan_10May2017.pdf69 K

efabless, X-FAB Announce Results of First Analog-on-Demand Design Challenge

 
Erfurt, Germany, 03/28/2017.


The top three winning entries in the first open analog Design Challenge for an ultra-low power voltage reference were announced today by sponsors efabless corporation, an open-innovation, semiconductor creation platform, and X-FAB Silicon Foundries, the leading analog/mixed-signal and MEMS foundry group. 

Winning designs met a given set of conditions across the full range of parameters and were judged by the lowest power dissipation. First place was awarded to Rishi Raghav, whose design had the lowest power consumption. The second place entry was designed by Arsalan Jawed. Ibrahim Muhammed submitted the third-place entry. They were awarded cash prizes of $7,000, $5,000 and $3,000, respectively, and will earn licensing revenues from the use of their intellectual property (IP) through efabless’ online marketplace and X-FAB’s IP Portal. 

Designers of all experience levels worldwide were challenged by efabless and X-FAB to deliver a block of intellectual property (IP) developed in X-FAB’s 350 nanometer (nm) mixed-signal process technology. Entrants used the efabless online platform for everything needed to design, verify and deliver the IP, including process technology information, design software, a foundry process design kit (PDK) and a variety of technical guides and webinars. 

“Just as X-FAB seeks innovative process solutions for our customers, enhancing mature silicon technologies with new functions and features, also referred to as More than Moore approach, efabless rethinks the creation of IP development.” states Ulrich Bretthauer, X-FAB’s manager of Industrial & Medical Solutions. “We are excited to see how the cooperation of our two companies on this Design Challenge is bringing to life the creativity of an impressive number of designers in the efabless community.

“We are pleased by the breadth of enthusiasm from our community members to be engaged in such a novel approach to deliver engineering solutions,” says Mike Wishart, chief executive officer of efabless. “Eighty-eight engineers from 26 countries accepted the challenge, and multiple designs were completed on time in conformance with the X-FAB spec. The Design Challenge demonstrates the value of the efabless on-demand IP offering where IC designers will use our platform to get the IP they want when they want it.”

“Our strength sparks from the experience and creativity of our community,” affirms Mohamed Kassem, chief technology officer of efabless. “Through our platform, individual designers and design teams can connect with customers and offer engineering solutions in a game-changing way. Design Challenge participants submitted a range of solutions for the same IP, each with distinct architectural approaches and offering different value propositions. This creativity is a key benefit of our solution and the value of this will only grow as our community completes IP and IC designs of increasing complexity.”

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About efabless

efabless corporation is an open innovation, hardware creation platform for “smart” products. Its community delivers customized integrated electronics required for IC companies and hardware system innovators to turn their ideas into marketable products. Specializing in the design of analog/mixed-signal IP and ICs, MEMS and agile ASICs, efabless gives designers the means to define, develop and monetize their work. Its community spans approximately 700 members from 30 countries around the world. For information visit: www.efabless.com

About X-FAB

X-FAB is the leading analog/mixed-signal and MEMS foundry group manufacturing silicon wafers for automotive, industrial, consumer, medical and other applications. Its customers worldwide benefit from the highest quality standards, manufacturing excellence and innovative solutions by using X-FAB’s modular CMOS processes in geometries ranging from 1.0 to 0.13 µm, and its special BCD, SOI and MEMS long-lifetime processes. X-FAB’s analog-digital integrated circuits (mixed-signal ICs), sensors and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) are manufactured at six production facilities in Germany, France, Malaysia and the U.S. X-FAB employs approximately 3,800 people worldwide. 

 
Files:
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And They’re Off…. Worldwide MEMS Design Contest Officially Starts

 
Erfurt, Germany, 03/16/2017.


Cadence Design Systems, Coventor, X-FAB and Reutlingen University - joint sponsors of the worldwide MEMS Design Contest - today announced the commencement of the design phase of the contest with the selection of ten semi-finalist teams who will compete for the top prize.  The contest was created to highlight and encourage the development of innovative MEMS and mixed-signal designs projects. Contest organizers carefully evaluated submissions from all over the world and selected the ten most innovative ideas to be further explored and developed during the design stage of the contest.  Submissions ranged from teams of two to nine, addressing areas such as surgical robots, energy harvesting and automotive Heads Up Display (HUD) applications.  

“We are encouraged by the impressive quality and range of design submissions we received.  This highlights how MEMS design is a specialized skill that is becoming increasingly important to fulfill the growing demand for IoT applications,” said Mr. Volker Herbig, Vice President, BU MEMS at X-FAB Group. “The semi-finalists will now go on to develop their MEMS and mixed-signal designs using state-of-the-art Cadence and Coventor tools in combination with X-FAB’s latest MEMS and CMOS design kits. We look forward to seeing the creative ways the contest semi-finalists will use our integrated design and manufacturing technology.”

All ten design teams in the semi-final round will receive the design tools, methodologies and process technologies needed to create their MEMS and mixed-signal designs as well as free access to various blocks of Intellectual Property (IP) that can be used as part of their design such as digital standard cells, I/Os, RAM and ROM blocks.

The design phase of the contest runs from now until December 31, 2017. The top three finalists will be announced on February 28, 2018 and prizes will be awarded at the annual Cadence user conference, CDNLive EMEA, in Munich, Germany, in 2018. 

The first-prize winner will receive a $5000 cash award, have their design manufactured at X-FAB’s wafer production facilities and get a free, one-year license of Coventor’s MEMS design software. The second and third prize winners will receive $2,000 and $1,000 cash prizes respectively, along with a private tour of X-FAB’s foundry facilities. 

About the Contest Organizers

Cadence (www.cadence.com) enables electronic systems and semiconductor companies to create the innovative end products that are transforming the way people live, work and play. Cadence’s software, hardware and semiconductor IP are used by customers to deliver products to market faster—from semiconductors to printed circuit boards to whole systems. The company’s System Design Enablement strategy helps customers develop differentiated products in mobile, consumer, cloud datacenter, automotive, aerospace, IoT, industrial and other market segments. Cadence is listed as one of FORTUNE Magazine's 100 Best Companies to Work For. 

X-FAB (www.xfab.com) is the leading analog/mixed-signal and MEMS foundry group manufacturing silicon wafers for automotive, industrial, medical and consumer. X-FAB’s analog-digital integrated circuits (mixed-signal ICs), sensors and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) are manufactured at six production facilities in Germany, France, Malaysia and the U.S. X-FAB employs more than 3,800 people worldwide. 

Coventor, Inc. (www.coventor.com/mems-solutions) is the market leader in automated design solutions for developing semiconductor process technology and micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS). Coventor serves a worldwide customer base of integrated device manufacturers, memory suppliers, fabless design houses, independent foundries, and R&D organizations from its headquarters in Cary, North Carolina, and offices in Silicon Valley, California, Waltham, Massachusetts, and Paris, France. 

Reutlingen University (www.reutlingen-university.de) is one of Germany’s leading universities, offering international academic programs with close ties to industry and commerce. It will help formulate and organize the call for participation of the contest. 

Coventor is a registered trademark of Coventor, Inc.  All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

 

X-FAB and efabless Co-Sponsor a Design Challenge to Create Ultra-Low Power Voltage Reference

 
Erfurt, Germany, 11/29/2016.

In order to drive further ingenuity in IC development, X-FAB Silicon Foundries and efabless corporation have announced the launch of an open mixed-signal design challenge. The objective of this challenge is to give designers across the globe, of all levels of experience, the opportunity to deliver a completed design IP for an ultra-low power voltage reference. The IP will be developed in X-FAB’s 350nm mixed-signal process with designers being granted access to the required models, design files and technical documentation. The 3 winners will each receive an attractive monetary reward and their IP will subsequently be made available to the X-FAB customer base through both the company’s IP Portal as well as via efabless’ try-before-buy online marketplace. All participants in the design challenge will fully retain their IP ownership.

The efabless/X-FAB open mixed-signal design challenge is the first of its kind in the semiconductor industry, as it is fundamentally outcome based with reference to target specifications. It will simultaneously focus on both encouraging greater design creativity and also maximizing execution quality in line with the performance requirements that have been set. Entrants for the design challenge will be accepted up to 20th February 2017. To get more information and to sign up go to efabless.com.

X-FAB’s 350nm mixed-signal process (XH035) on which the designs will be implemented is highly optimized for telecom, industrial and automotive applications. It provides strong signal integrity characteristics, as well as having industry-leading high-voltage capabilities. The world class noise behavior of its p-mos and n-mos transistors makes this process highly suitable for circuits requiring a high signal-to-noise ratio. The efabless design environment provides all entrants with the tools needed to design, verify and deliver the IP they envisaged.

“X-FAB continues to seek novel and imaginative ways by which to strengthen the IP offering available to our customers,” states Ulrich Bretthauer, Manager of Industrial & Medical Solutions at X-FAB. "efabless’ unique crowdsourcing approach to semiconductor development, and the highly-engaged engineering community it has built up around this, clearly complement our existing portfolio of valued IP partners. This means that customers have access to on-demand IP that is fully optimized to meet their particular needs. The cooperation of our two companies on this design challenge will be an effective means by which to highlight the pioneering foundry and design services we respectively specialize in."

“The semiconductor industry continues to evolve, with new sectors like IoT, eHealth, home automation and wearable technology all showing huge potential. The growing diversity of development projects means that there will be many places where IP on demand is destined to be a critical factor,” adds Mohamed Kassem, co-founder and CTO of efabless. “The efabless concept is to bring the dynamics of crowdsourcing to the design and delivery of semiconductor IP. We have created a platform upon which members of our community can sell or license the IP they’ve created to customers worldwide, resulting in a vibrant, highly responsive marketplace. We are excited by the prospect of working together with X-FAB. The jointly announced design challenge enables further refinement to our business model as well as highlighting its inherent benefits,” he continues. “It is open to all engineers - from students right through to seasoned industry veterans - thus staying true to efabless’ philosophy of democratizing the design process.”

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About X-FAB
X-FAB is the leading analog/mixed-signal and MEMS foundry group manufacturing silicon wafers for automotive, industrial, consumer, medical and other applications. Its customers worldwide benefit from the highest quality standards, manufacturing excellence and innovative solutions by using X-FAB’s modular CMOS processes in geometries ranging from 1.0 to 0.13  µm, and its special BCD, SOI and MEMS long-lifetime processes. X-FAB’s analog-digital integrated circuits (mixed-signal ICs), sensors and micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) are manufactured at six production facilities in Germany, France, Malaysia and the U.S. X-FAB employs approximately 3,800 people worldwide. For more information, please visit www.xfab.com

About efabless
efabless corporation is the first fabless semiconductor company to apply crowdsourcing and open community innovation to all aspects of IC development and commercialization. Specializing in the design of analog/mixed signal ICs, power management ICs MEMS and agile ASICs, the company gives designers all the means needed to define, develop and monetize their work. It has built up a community of over 700 members from 30 countries around the world. For information visit: www.efabless.com


X-FAB Press Contacts 
Thomas Hartung
VP Sales & Corporate Marketing
X-FAB Silicon Foundries
+49-361-427-6160
thomas.hartung(at)xfab.com
www.xfab.com

 
Files:
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