Semiconductor processes interfacing the real world.
Semiconductor processes interfacing the real world.

First-Time-Right Support


FTR – one of the most challenging goals in IC design – comes with highly complex requirements. Very different items need to play together but exist independently, much like an orchestra with many individual musicians but no conductor. For a foundry, FTR covers aspects ranging from process development to design support to process characterization. X-FAB meets this challenge through the following methods.


Process Selection

X-FAB offers a large selection of highly reliable semiconductor processes ranging from 1.0μm to 0.18μm bulk silicon- and SOI-based CMOS. They enable the design and manufacture of high-quality semiconductors that can exist in harsh automotive environments.


X-FAB’s processes and PDKs enable mixed-signal first-time-right silicon by using simulation models that represent silicon behavior as accurately as possible. These models include all required elements from a design point of view – spice models with a 3-to 6-sigma range for process limits, Monte Carlo models, and dedicated high-voltage models to cover high-voltage transistor behaviors.


Electronic System Design (ESD) robustness is another key element for automotive semiconductor devices. X-FAB‘s strong engineering support for custom I/O development and its extended ESD support with HV IO library building blocks proven in silicon facilitate the development of ESD-robust I/O. This support is enabled by transmission line pulse (TLP) measurements for ESD structures that support I/O development for >8kV HBM (human body model).

Design Methodology

X-FAB’s PDKs, libraries and IPs are fully supporting mixed-signal design methodology and are optimized for automotive applications interfacing the real world. Our analog/mixed-signal reference kit for Cadence design tools and flows can be downloaded as a ready-to-use design package that gives you a jump-start allowing fast and easy adoption of the mixed-signal design flow.


PDKs close the gap between EDA software and the foundry process. X-FAB PDKs are more than just a set of files. They contain all the data designers need to work with digital, analog and mixed-signal design flows in combination with our foundry data. PDKs provide out-of-thebox support for the latest design flows. They enable automotive designers to start IC development in their preferred EDA environments without any additional settings.


X-FAB is developing multiple robust and reliable IP that is easy to design with and also suitable for high-temperature (+175°C) environments typically found in the automotive space. This IP includes digital standard cell libraries, analog libraries, IO libraries, and SRAM and ROM compilers. In addition, X-FAB’s high-density non-volatile memory (NVM) IP blocks such as eFlash, NVRAM, EEPROM and OTP, among others, are qualified for high temperature use. Failure redundant solutions also are available, including NVM ECC.


X-FAB manufactures silicon wafers for mixed-signal integrated circuits (ICs) that target automotive applications. Its marketing network and client base span the Americas, Europe and Asia, offering manufacturing capacity of approximately 864,000 200mm-equivalent wafers per year. The largest specialty fab group worldwide, X-FAB differs from typical foundry services because of its specialized expertise in advanced analog and mixed-signal process technologies for harsh environments in the automotive market segment.

Analog and mixed-signal technologies are not intended for digital applications with the smallest possible structure sizes. Instead, they target analog automotive applications that can be integrated with additional functions such as high voltage, non-volatile memory and sensors. X-FAB optimally manages the product development flow and supply chain for your semiconductor products by combining solid, specialized expertise in advanced analog and mixed-signal process technologies with excellent service, a high level of responsiveness and first-class technical support.



As a pure-play foundry specializing in mixed-signal applications, X-FAB offers a wide range of open platform process technologies that combine advanced modular CMOS and BiCMOS platforms with a broad spectrum of additional analog functions and modular options. It covers voltages up to 40V, 60V, 100V, 200V & 700V for CMOS and SOI solutions, and offers a combination of high-voltage and NVM options with the lowest mask count in industry for advanced analog/mixed-signal process nodes.


Non-Volatile Memories at X-FAB

In the past couple of years the demand for non-volatile memories (NVM) has been growing steadily, driven mainly by mobile consumer electronics – from smartphones and tablet PCs to digital cameras and GPS navigation devices. In addition, the NVM content in these devices continues to grow rapidly in proportion to the logic device content.

This demand has increased the need for NVM for trimming, data- and code-storage functions used in smart systems-on- chip (SoCs).

To help automotive design teams design advanced SoCs for emerging applications, X-FAB offers a wide range of embedded non-volatile memory IP including eFlash, EEPROM, NVRAM, OTP, NV latches and poly fuses that cover process nodes from 1.0μm to 0.13μm.

The following pages showcase the different non-volatile memory types at X-FAB, their application space and technical features.

Sensor & Sensor Interfaces

X-FAB technologies include integrated state-of-the-art CMOS image sensors and the ability for companies to integrate their own IP. Automotive teams can select from a wide range of characterized photo diodes on multiple process platforms. X-FAB’s sensor offerings deliver specific advantages for the exacting reliability and environmental needs of the automotive industry – high sensitivity, an adjustable spectral range, the lowest 1/f noise level and excellent matching behavior for high-performance signal conditioning applications, and an exceptional signal-to-noise ratio that is the lowest in the industry for audio applications.

Sensor & Sensor Interfaces

Tech Biz Day - From Innovation to Medical Electronics

EVENTS, 10/17/2019.

An event dedicated to all stakeholders in the Medtech ecosystem


Thursday, October 17th, 2019 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Hotel NH Lyon Airport, Lyon


Program of the Day

09:00 - 09:15: Welcome (Minalogic)
09:15 - 09:30: CEO introduction (X-FAB)
09:30 - 10:00: Overview of Medical products using X-FAB Technologies (X-FAB)
10:00 - 10:30: X-FAB’s support along the customer journey (X-FAB)
10:30 - 11:00: Break
11:00 - 11:30: Trends in Healthcare (Yole)
11:30 - 12:30: The application of silicon chips in Healthcare (X-FAB customers)
  • Miniaturizing medical grade infrared temperature sensors: on the verge of massive adoption (Melexis NV, Joris Roels, Marketing manager Temperature Sensors)
  • Biochemical detection at the Point of Care driven by a CMOS/MEMS sensor (Boehringer Ingelheim, Dr Heinz Schoeder, Head of Global Diagnostics & Monitoring R&D)
  • Nanotechnology for point-of-care diagnostics (Abionic, Iwan Märki, CTO and Co-Founder)
12:30 - 14:00: Lunch
14:00 - 17:00: 3 Parallel sessions:

  • Explore the medical value chain with X-FAB (Booths)

    • X-FAB France: Manufacturing at X-FAB
    • Medical applications done in X-FAB Technologies
    • X-FAB support and services
    • Open Innovation

  • Technologies for Medical devices (Talks)

    • IMEC, Dr. Romano Hoofman, Program Director Innovation Services and Solution: “How technology will revolutionize healthcare”
    • EASii IC, Hervé Naudet “Analog ASIC For Stroke Treatment Using X-FAB XT018 Process Technology”
    • ItoM, J.F. (Jeroen) Langendam, VP Marketing & Business Development: “Integrated design to enable next generation wearable medical devices - Advances in high quality electrophysiology (EEG/ECG/EMG) amplifiers”
    • IMMS GmbH, Peggy Reich, Biosystems Engineer Microelectronics: “Customer-specific integrated sensor systems for Point-of-Care diagnostics”
    • CEA Grenoble, Nicolas Verplanck: “Advanced Packaging Technology Building Blocks for medical devices”
    • Hub4AIM: “A one-stop shop to secure industrialization of your medical device”
    • X-Celeprint, David Gomez, Sr. Director of Engineering: “Advanced Assembly through Micro-Transfer”
    • Iroc Technologies, Dan Alexandrescu: “Recipes and Ingredients for Safe and Reliable Microelectronics for Medical Applications”
    • Microdul AG, Dr. Philip J. Poole Director Semiconductors: “Contract Manufacture for Implantable Medical Devices”

  • Business to Business discussions (F2F organized in confidential setting)


Register here

(Registration deadline: October 1st, 2019)


If you have any questions about the event please feel free to contact us at: seminar(at)




Meet X-FAB at ICSCRM 2019 Conference

EVENTS, 09/29/2019.

X-FAB will be exhibiting at the coming ICSCRM 2019 in Kyoto, Japan. Come and visit us at booth C29.

During this International Conference on Silicon Carbide and Related Materials starting on September 29th until October 4st,  the premier forum for technical discussion in all areas of silicon carbide (SiC), take the opportunity to meet our team and exchange on X-FAB full process solution for SiC Customers.

For more info of the event, please visit


X-FAB Brings 180nm Automotive-Qualified Semiconductor Process to its French Manufacturing Site

Automotive, NEWS, Tessenderlo, Belgium, 07/25/2019.

X-FAB Silicon Foundries, the leading analog/mixed-signal and specialty foundry, has announced that its popular high-voltage 180nm CMOS semiconductor process (XH018) is now available for automotive applications via the company’s production facility in France. This is a major step in X-FAB’s plan to offer dual sourcing for all its 180nm processes (in both CMOS and SOI) – so that continuity of supply is always assured.

Located in Corbeil-Essonnes, just outside Paris, the X-FAB manufacturing plant in France is the company’s largest in Europe. It has 15,000m2 of used cleanroom area, with additional 9,000m2 cleanroom space that can be equipped for future demand. The high-voltage XH018 technology now available in France complements the RF-SOI technology already in production at that site for many years. 

Specifically optimized for automotive, industrial and medical applications, the XH018 mixed-signal process has a modular architecture that delivers maximum customer flexibility. Besides supporting high-temperature and low leakage operation, XH018 comes with advanced PDK features to improve the design robustness and enables first-time-right functional silicon. The offering includes advanced digital memory IP optimized for power, performance and area as well as analog/mixed-signal reference design kits and tools for checking operating conditions and ESD robustness.

“We are very pleased that our XH018 high-voltage process, currently running in our high volume fab in Malaysia, has now been successfully installed also in France. With this, we now have a dual source for our main 180nm platform and the capacity needed to serve the increasing demands of our customers” states Rudi De Winter, X-FAB’s CEO.” 

From this point onwards, X-FAB France will be accepting XH018 tape-ins for automotive applications. 

Press_Release_XH018_France_EN_25Jul2019.pdf126 Ki
Press_Release_XH018_France_FR_25Jul2019.pdf209 Ki

X-FAB Expands its 180nm BCD-on-SOI Technology Platform with New High-Voltage Devices Designed for Next Generation Automotive Applications

Automotive, NEWS, Tessenderlo, Belgium, 07/11/2019.

X-FAB Silicon Foundries SE, the leading analog/mixed-signal and specialty foundry today announced the availability of new high-voltage primitive devices targeted at the growing market for automotive 48V board net and battery management system (BMS) ICs. 

Covering voltages of 70V to 125V, these complementary NMOS/PMOS devices are based on the company’s XT018 BCD-on-SOI platform with deep trench isolation (DTI) and support for automotive AEC-Q100 Grade 0 products. They deliver competitive on-resistance (Rdson) figures, while still providing robust safe-operating areas for Rdson, Idsat and Vth. A highly effective ESD protection mechanism has been incorporated to ensure long-term operational reliability. In addition, high-voltage N-channel depletion transistors based on the new voltage classes are also available. These will enable simple, area efficient start-up circuitry and voltage regulator implementations to be realized.

48V subsystems are being increasingly adopted by the world’s leading automakers as a means to improve fuel efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions. Mild hybrid cars are the first to utilize 48V-rated components, which will initially focus on a number of core elements, like starter/generators, DC-DC converters and battery management subsystems, as well as other high-current functions, such as water pumps and cooling fans. 

At the same time, the fast growing Li-Ion battery markets for electric vehicles and energy storage is moving to taller battery cell stacks which require higher voltages. The XT018 BCD-on-SOI platform now provides an even more flexible voltage offering up to 200V to support the increasing number battery cells that need to be monitored by a single BMS IC. 

BCD-on-SOI is superior in many aspects when compared to conventional bulk BCD technologies, making it attractive to designers. Key advantages include virtual latch-up free circuits, strong EMC performance (due to complete isolation with buried oxide/DTI) and simplified handling of below ground transients. Furthermore, through the potential for significant die size reduction along with first-time-right implementation, development periods can be accelerated and lower costs per die can be achieved. 

 “As the premier high-voltage SOI foundry, X-FAB is now better positioned than ever to support automobile electrification,” states X-FAB CEO Rudi De Winter. “This extension to the popular XT018 platform further strengthens our offering to the hybrid/electric vehicle sector. It means that through this, plus our SiC and galvanic isolation capabilities, we can supply clients with another vital building block that will help accelerate society’s migration to more environmentally friendly transportation.”

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 and SOI processes in geometries ranging from 1.0 to 0.13 µm, and its special SiC 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 about 4,000 people worldwide. 

Press_Release_XT018_HV_ext_EN_11Jul2019.pdf154 Ki
Press_Release_XT018_HV_ext_CN_11Jul2019.pdf128 Ki

X-FAB Introduces Highly-Sensitive SPAD and APD Devices Based on its Modular 180nm Process Technology

NEWS, Tessenderlo, Belgium, 06/20/2019.

X-FAB Silicon Foundries, the leading analog/mixed-signal and specialty foundry, continues to develop ground-breaking semiconductor solutions to address the most difficult of design challenges. It has now announced the availability of avalanche photodiode (APD) and single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) products for implementation in scenarios where there are extremely low light conditions to contend with and augmented sensitivity is required, as well as tight timing resolutions involved. 

Based on the company’s popular 180nm high-voltage XH018 process, these function block devices deliver a combination of elevated performance parameters and straightforward integration. The APD has a strong linear gain figure, and is fully scalable - going from just ten to several hundred micrometer dimensions. The proprietary X-FAB quenching circuit used in the SPAD results in a dead time of less than 15ns - thereby supporting high bandwidth. In addition, its low dark count rate (<100 counts/s/µm²) means that it is far less susceptible to thermal noise. The high photon detection probability (PDP) of the SPAD ensures that a much higher proportion of incident photons trigger an avalanche, and this is maintained across an extensive range of wavelengths (e.g. 40% at 400nm).

The X-FAB APD and SPAD can be utilized in a broad spectrum of different applications - including proximity sensing, LiDAR, time of flight (ToF), medical imaging (CT and PET) and scientific research. Being AEC-Q100 compliant, they are suitable for deployment within automotive systems. Furthermore, the low breakdown voltage (<20V) that has been achieved facilitates their incorporation onto customer dies. As integral parts of the X-FAB design kit, they are fully characterized, and can easily be combined with other modules featured in the XH018 process. Models for optical and electrical simulation, along with a specific application note, will help designers to integrate these devices into their circuitry within a short time period. As well as being supplied in a function block format, a quenching reference circuit that fully demonstrates the capabilities of the SPAD is also available.

Members of the X-FAB team will be able to discuss the new APD and SPAD products when the company exhibits at Sensors Expo (Booth #546, McEnery Convention Center, San Jose, 25th-27th June).

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 and SOI processes in geometries ranging from 1.0 to 0.13 µm, and its special SiC 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 about 4,000 people worldwide.

Press_Release_APD_SPAD_EN_final_20Jun2019.pdf275 Ki
Press_Release_APD-SPAD_Chinese_24Jun2019.pdf86 Ki

X-FAB and Efabless Announce Successful First Silicon of Raven, An Open-Source RISC-V Microcontroller

Tessenderlo, Belgium, 06/13/2019.

X-FAB Silicon Foundries, the leading analog/mixed-signal and specialty foundry, together with crowd-sourcing IC platform partner Efabless Corporation, today announced the successful first-silicon availability of the Efabless RISC-V System on Chip (SoC) reference design. This open-source semiconductor project went from design start to tape-out in less than three months using the Efabless design flow based on open-source tools.  The mixed-signal SoC, called Raven, is based on the community developed ultra-low power PicoRV32 RISC-V core.  Efabless has successfully bench-tested the Raven at 100MHz, and based on simulations the design should be able to operate at up to 150MHz.

Raven is unique in that the open-source top-level design utilizes X-FAB proprietary analog IP and is created with an open-source design flow. This hybrid open-source design brings the power of open innovation and at the same time protecting significant investment in proprietary IP.  

Efabless and X-FAB chose to manufacture the Raven on X-FAB’s high-reliability XH018 process. This is a flexible 180nm 6-metal process with a wide variety of options including a low power option, on-chip isolation for high voltages, and high-temperature flash memory. X-FAB’s XH018 process meets automotive quality requirements and is popular in a wide range of automotive, industrial and medical applications.

The semiconductor design is fully functional and Efabless is now engaged with its initial customers on design of derivative offerings. To the Efabless community Raven is available from the Efabless marketplace as a reference design without license fee consequentially advancing the Efabless open innovation model of community design.  
"The successful partnership with Efabless demonstrates X-FAB’s continued commitment to open-source semiconductor development", said Ulrich Bretthauer, Product Marketing Manager at X-FAB. "Nearly 75% of Raven's die area is covered by X-FAB standard library blocks and macros. Using these proven IP blocks increased the reliability of the Raven while minimizing first-silicon risk."

According to Mohamed Kassem, Efabless co-founder and CTO, "This project would not have been possible without the support of X-FAB.  They have been an early adopter of the Efabless open-innovation model and this project is the logical extension of our collaboration.”
For companies that want to learn how to get started with open-source IP semiconductor design, X-FAB provides a series of free webinars including “Handling of Complex & Diverse IC Designs Made Easier”, “Design Robustness”, and “IC Lifetime Calculation Made Easy”. Design kits and PDKs for open source IP designs are available. Contact X-FAB for more information.


About Efabless Corporation is the world’s first crowd-sourcing platform for semiconductors. Efabless’ customers connect with a community of design firms and professionals and receive formal quotes for custom mixed signal IC and IP solutions. Efabless then provides its IC design community with a cloud-based platform offering everything needed to execute the designs. This includes a design flow based on open source tools; a marketplace featuring IP and full reference designs; access to foundry processes and MPW services to get to prototypes. The entire offering is designed to eliminate the cost and administrative barriers that have inhibited IC design in general and custom IC design in particular.

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 and SOI processes in geometries ranging from 1.0 to 0.13 µm, and its special SiC 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 about 4,000 people worldwide. 

Press_Release_Efabless_X-FAB_RISC-V_ENG_13June2019.pdf28 Ki
Press_Release_Efabless_X-FAB_RISC-V_Chinese_18Jun2019.pdf86 Ki

X-FAB Offers Unique Substrate Coupling Analysis Solution to Address Unwanted Parasitic Effects

Schematic view of parasitic substrate elements of an analog driver chip
NEWS, Tessenderlo, Belgium, 05/09/2019.

Continuing to drive innovation in analog/mixed-signal IC fabrication, X-FAB Silicon Foundries SE has announced the introduction of SubstrateXtractor.

Unwanted substrate couplings can impact modern IC developments, causing parasitic effects that are damaging to overall performance. Engineers have to deal with this by taking a slow and laborious ‘trial and error’ approach, which calls for the allocation of many hours of experienced engineers’ time while numerous different design iterations are made and then experimented with.   

The objective of SubstrateXtractor is to change all that. Created in partnership with Swiss EDA software vendor PN Solutions, and based on its innovative PNAware product, this is the semiconductor industry’s first commercially available tool dedicated to addressing the simulation of large signal substrate parasitic effects. Working in conjunction with X-FAB’s established simulation libraries, it allows engineers to investigate where potential substrate coupling issues could occur and make the changes necessary to eliminate them (via better floorplanning, guard rings, etc.) before the initial tape-out has even begun. 
Through it, engineers will gain full visibility of all the active and passive elements within the substrate and be able to experiment with different simulations in order to find a design concept that delivers maximum substrate coupling immunity within the project’s particular parametric constraints. Furthermore, they are able to determine the minimum number of substrate contacts and guard rings needed for a project, no matter how complex and sophisticated it is – thereby resulting in more effective utilization of the available area.   

“By employing the SubstrateXtractor tool, layout engineers will be able to uncover any adverse substrate effects early on in the development cycle and subsequently mitigate them,” explains Joerg Doblaski, Director of Design Support at X-FAB. “This will make IC implementation procedures far more streamlined and quicker to complete, avoiding the need to rework designs to increase levels of optimization, and resulting in significant cost savings.”   

SubstrateXtractor is set to dramatically reduce the number of design iterations required - leading to much lower engineering overheads. This results in a faster time to market making a first-time-right analog design possible. From now onwards this functionality will be integrated into X-FAB’s process design kit (PDK) and available for use with the company’s popular XH018 high voltage 0.18µm mixed-signal CMOS offering. A version for the power management process XP018 will soon follow.

Press_Release_SubstrateXtractor_ENG_09May2019.pdf227 Ki