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

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. 

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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. 

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X-FAB Announces Full Production Release of New High-Voltage Galvanic Isolation Technology

Automotive, NEWS, Tessenderlo, Belgium, 01/30/2019.

X-FAB Silicon Foundries SE, the leading analog/mixed-signal and specialty foundry, has announced the full volume production release of its new high temperature galvanic isolation semiconductor process. This proprietary technology is fully automotive qualified, and offers greater reliability levels compared to options offered by the competition.

Galvanic isolation electrically separates circuits in order to improve noise immunity, remove ground loops, and increase common mode voltage. It can also protect human interfaces from contact with high voltages. An example where this plays an important role is the control of IGBT or SiC power modules in industrial and automotive environments. Further applications include data communication in field bus systems, battery management systems or the usage in medical equipment.

Key advantages of the new X-FAB galvanic isolation process include:
•    Operational temperatures of up to 175°C
•    Successfully tested up to 6,000 Vrms @ 50Hz and 10,000 VDC
•    Uninterrupted barrier layer with 0 ppm residual contamination
•    Demonstrated conformance with latest IEC 60747-17 semiconductor coupler draft standard
•    Support for working voltages up to 1.7 kV

X-FAB offers two types of packaged galvanic isolation devices for customer evaluation. The capacitive coupler test chip, G3-C1, has an isolation layer thickness of 11 µm and was tested to withstand up to 6,000 Vrms (the maximum limit of the test setup). An inductive coupler test chip, G3-T06, is also available for customer evaluation and has an isolation layer thickness of 14 µm.

The new X-FAB galvanic isolation technology is manufactured at the company’s Dresden facility, which is certified for automotive manufacturing in accordance with the IATF-16949:2016 International Automotive Quality Management System (QMS) standard. Design kits for all major EDA platforms can be downloaded from X-FAB’s customer web portal. Samples can be supplied on request. Full process qualification reports are also available.


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. For more information, please visit

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X-FAB Becomes First Semiconductor Foundry to Achieve IATF 16949 Automotive Quality Certification

Automotive, NEWS, Tessenderlo, Belgium, 02/08/2018.

Another major accomplishment in 25 years of producing high reliability ICs for the global automobile business

X-FAB Silicon Foundries SE today announced that it is the first semiconductor foundry whose manufacturing sites are certified for automotive manufacturing according to the new IATF-16949:2016 International Automotive Quality Management System (QMS). The certification is acknowledged as the industry’s highest standard of system and process quality for automotive suppliers. This achievement further strengthens X-FAB’s long-established reputation for quality and reliability in the automotive industry, as well as its standing among semiconductor manufacturers. Since 1992, the company has consistently met or exceeded the exacting demands for automotive semiconductors, with more than 17 billion X-FAB automotive devices shipped to date. Almost 50% of the company’s business is related to the automotive market and on average there are now 10 ICs produced by X-FAB in every newly manufactured vehicle worldwide.

Up until now X-FAB’s manufacturing sites were qualified according to ISO TS 16949 which is now superseded by the IATF-16949 standard and is implemented as a supplement to, and in conjunction with ISO 9001. Among the enhancements are additional requirements for business procedures, cleanliness, ethics, training, supplier and customer communications, plus detailed record keeping – all of which have always been deeply engrained within X-FAB’s corporate culture.

Certification for IATF 16949 requires automotive suppliers throughout the entire supply chain to perform and record all processes and activities in a common standardized format, as well as documenting all process changes and events in a timely manner. For semiconductor manufacturers this improves production throughput and product quality, resulting in greater reliability and yield enhancement.

The semiconductor content in today’s cars continues to grow, driven by improvements in passenger safety as well as advancements in driver automation, collision avoidance, vehicle navigation and passenger infotainment. While semiconductor content in the average automobile is increasing rapidly, almost doubling over the course of the past decade, quality requirements have evolved from 0 ppm to zero incidents throughout the entire supply chain. 

According to Frank Lorenz, VP Quality at X-FAB, "Process orientation, interdisciplinary work and continuous improvement combined with intensive customer collaboration are the key elements in achieving our goal of zero incidents throughout the automotive supply chain. The IATF-16949 quality certification is an important milestone in our 25 years of foundry experience, demonstrating our commitment to quality and reliability. Our entire organization is enthusiastically behind this effort, and with this new IATF certificate we can move forward with further improving our offering in order to provide greater value for our customers.”

Five of X-FAB’s six manufacturing sites on three continents are now IATF-16949 certified: Erfurt, Dresden and Itzehoe in Germany; Kuching in Malaysia and Lubbock TX, USA. X-FAB’s most recent manufacturing site in Corbeil Essonnes, France, will be qualified in the second quarter of 2018 and will in future significantly contribute to X-FAB’s automotive business. Currently, X-FAB’s high-volume 180 nm automotive processes are being installed at X-FAB France and once in place, X-FAB will be able to offer these processes as dual-source, an important requirement from the automotive market.

Automotive ICs drive quality improvement in overall semiconductor manufacturing, so this certification benefits not just X FAB’s automotive foundry operations, but also its established manufacturing for industrial, consumer and medical devices. The team at X-FAB is dedicated to being a reliable partner throughout the entire manufacturing cycle, and together with a policy of close collaboration with customers creates a shared interest in maintaining quality and reliability within all levels of the relationship.


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 more than 3,800 people worldwide. For more information, please visit

X-FAB Press Contact

Thomas Hartung
VP Sales & Marketing

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NVM Volume Production Test is Ramping up

Automotive, 01/20/2016.

X-FAB’s production test for XH018 embedded Flash IP blocks uses a serial test interface implemented during the design phase of the IC. A parallel IP test also is performed to increase test throughput and reduce cost. Both tests are conducted according to the test specification based on a high test coverage metric, ensuring that only Flash IPs that fulfill automotive requirements will be delivered. The XH018 embedded Flash IP block test includes a high-temperature test up to +175°C and an optional low-temperature test at -40°C.

To enable the testing of embedded applications, X-FAB offers an IEEE 1149.1 Test Access Port (TAP). The TAP includes a fully IEEE 1149.1-compliant state machine and an expansion port to enable testing of additional embedded cores or to make the chip itself compliant with Boundary-Scan board testing. The TAP controller interface also is used to access embedded Flash memories with the X-FAB programmer Tool Kit — a very helpful tool for software developers, especially during IC evaluation.


Automotive Training

Automotive, 12/14/2015.

Increasing demand for semiconductors used in automotive applications is attracting newcomers to this market segment. To ensure a high quality standard, X-FAB offers customized training that highlights differences between consumer and automotive applications and explains X-FAB offerings that can help drive success, given the challenging design goals for automotive semiconductors. For more information or to obtain a quote for customized training, please contact our sales team


X-FAB Announces First 180-Nanometer Cost-Efficient SOI Foundry Technology for Automotive Applications

Automotive, 06/08/2015.

XT018 outperforms bulk CMOS solutions with up to 30-percent cost savings, enables first-time-right success

X-FAB Silicon Foundries, the leading More than Moore foundry, today announced the industry’s first cost-efficient 180nm SOI technology for automotive and industrial applications that need to operate in harsh environments. X-FAB’s new suite of 40V and 60V high-voltage devices for its XT018 180-nanometer SOI platform outperforms bulk CMOS technologies and provides cost savings of up to 30-percent. The XT018 technology includes comprehensive design support, resulting in fewer design cycles and the possibility of first-time-right success; it offers cost-competitive implementation of next-generation automotive solutions and leads to faster time to market. The new devices make the XT018 process ideal for advanced automotive applications such as monolithic motor controllers and physical layer transceivers including integrated or stand-alone LIN/CAN transceivers. 

Volker Herbig, product marketing director at X-FAB, explained the significance of the new XT018 technology. “Until now SOI technologies were seen as rather exotic and very expensive solutions, but our XT018 SOI technology offsets the added cost of SOI with a smaller chip size, higher performance, and easier design. Therefore it makes first-time-right success achievable.” 

The XT018 platform is specifically designed for next-generation automotive, industrial and medical applications with up to 200V operating voltage and an operating temperature up to 175°C. The X-FAB XT018 180nm modular high-voltage SOI CMOS technology combines the benefits of SOI wafers with Deep Trench Isolation (DTI) plus those of a state-of-the-art six-metal-layer 180nm bulk CMOS process. Using SOI wafers as the starting material, in combination with trench isolation instead of the more commonly used junction isolation techniques in CMOS, simplifies the design concept. The SOI wafers eliminate the parasitic bipolar effects to substrate, reducing latch-up risk. They also enable the development of devices such as truly isolated diodes, allowing reverse supply voltage protection that is difficult to achieve with bulk CMOS or BCD technologies. 

The centerpiece of the new offering is a low Ron 40V NMOS transistor with industry-leading on resistance of 26 mΩ-mm². It is complemented by robust 40V and 60V ESD enhanced devices as well as matching PMOS and depletion transistors.

Herbig further explained, “Requirements for automotive designs are becoming ever more challenging to fulfill – for example, the latest CAN standard and the more stringent specifications for EMC and ESD robustness. X-FAB’s XT018 technology enables designers to deal with these challenges.” 

The new XT018 SOI technology allows for much more compact designs compared to the conventional junction isolation scheme. For example, it allows area efficient lateral isolation in-between circuit blocks against cross-coupling for the output driver and sense inputs. The easy integration of isolated devices enables a short design cycle, making first-time-right functionality possible even for complex systems-on-chip with automotive HV device requirements.

The enhanced XT018 foundry platform is available immediately including full PDK support for all major EDA vendors, extensive device characterization and modelling, as well as comprehensive analog, digital and memory IP. Additional new devices such as depletion transistors, Zener diodes, high performance BJTs and a 200V IGBT device also are ready to be used. 


BCD       Bipolar-CMOS-DMOS
BJT        Bipolar Junction Transistor
CAN       Controller Area Network
CMOS    Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor
DTI          Deep Trench Isolation
EDA        Electronic Design Automation 
EMC        Electro-Magnetic Compatibility
ESD        Electro-Static Discharge
HBM        Human Body Model
HV           High Voltage
ICs          Integrated Circuits
IGBT        Insulated-Gate Bipolar Transistor
IP             Intellectual Property
LIN          Local Interconnect Network
MEMS     Microelectromechanical Systems
PDK        Process Design Kit
SOI          Silicon on Insulator

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