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

First-Time-Right Support

First-Time-Right

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.

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.

Models

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.

ESD

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

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.

IP

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.

Manufacturing

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.

High-Voltage

High-Voltage

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.

NVM IP

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 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.
 

 
Files:
Press_Release_SubstrateXtractor_ENG_09May2019.pdf227 Ki

Sensors Expo 2019

 
EVENTS, 04/29/2019.

For 30+ years, Sensors Expo & Conference has established itself as North America's premier event focused exclusively on sensors and sensor-integrated systems. This year it will take place at the heart of Silicon Valley at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California.
The 2019 event will host 7,000+ attendees and 300+ exhibitors, one of them being X-FAB.

When?        25-17 June 2019

Where?        San Jose, CA, USA

For more information on Sensors Expo, please visit the event website: https://www.sensorsexpo.com/

 

 

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.

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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 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 www.xfab.com
 

 
Files:
Press_Release_Galvanic_Isolator_ENG_30Jan2019.pdf26 Ki

Webinar: How to make the most of your Tape-out - Insights into Mask Tooling, Mask Preparation Techniques & Stitching

 
EVENTS, 01/11/2019.

Do you know what happens to your IC design once you have taped-out to your foundry?
This webinar will shed some light on the various techniques applied in the process from design submission to mask generation. You will learn about the Data Input Check performed by X-FAB to ensure the best possible fabrication quality and how scribe lane structures are added allowing the monitoring of key process parameters.  It will also address how the mask generation flow is optimized for different prototyping scenarios such as Single Layer Masks (SLM) and Multi Layer Masks (MLM). In addition, practical suggestions will be provided on how to bypass the reticle limitations by using stitching for large layouts.

In this webinar, we will showcase the different prototyping services X-FAB offers so that you can make the most of your designs and get it first-time-right.

REGISTER TODAY

Session for North & South America:

Wednesday, January 23, 2019
9:00 AM Pacific Time (PST)
12:00 PM Eastern Time (EST)

Session for EMEA & Asia:

Thursday, January 24, 2019 
9:00 AM Central European Time (CEST)
4:00 PM Taiwan & China
5:00 PM Korea & Japan

Please register with your corporate email address.
After registration, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. Space is limited.

 

 

POLYTEDA PowerDRC/LVS and PVCLOUD qualified for X-FAB’s 180nm modular High-Voltage CMOS process

 
NEWS, 12/17/2018.

Kiev, Ukraine: POLYTEDA CLOUD LLC, an innovator in physical verification (PV) tools for the semiconductor industry, announced today the completion of qualification of its products for X-FAB, the leading analog/mixed-signal and MEMS foundry. The products involve traditional desktop tool PowerDRC/LVS and PVCLOUD, an advanced cloud-based physical verification solution. Now IC designers using X-FAB’s 180 nm modular high-voltage CMOS platform XH018 have access to a fast sign-off quality solution on a pay-per-use basis to dramatically reduce design cycle time and benefit from affordable costs (starting from $20 per hour) and faster time to market.

POLYTEDA’s PowerDRC/LVS enables rapid verification of new designs to ensure accuracy prior to mask creation and manufacturing. It can process multiple design rules and design layers simultaneously. In addition to superior processing speed, PowerDRC/LVS can handle huge amounts of data – up to tens of billions of transistors.
“Physical verification is an integral part of all state-of-the-art design flows and a prerequisite for successful designs.” said Joerg Doblaski, Director of Design Support at X-FAB. “We worked together with POLYTEDA to create and qualify runsets for our 180 nm modular HV CMOS platform XH018. PVCLOUD will give our customers the possibility to run physical verification in a cloud-based system using a pay-per-use business model, which will help to further promote the usage of modern physical verification tools especially among small and medium-sized enterprises.”

“We are changing the EDA market as IС designers can now use PVCLOUD - our advanced cloud-based physical verification platform on a pay-per-use basis. It is fast, accurate, and utilizes the customer’s current design environment to present violations in a rational and organized way to quickly and easily validate their layout prior to manufacturing. PVCLOUD also delivers a notable shortening of verification cycle (up to 50%) depending on design type, size, and complexity and the VM hardware used,” said Alexander Grudanov, POLYTEDA Chief Executive Officer. “We are pleased to have qualified our PV platform at X-FAB and look forward to further developing our productive and strategic partnership.”
 

About POLYTEDA
POLYTEDA CLOUD was founded in 2015, developing cloud-ready PV workflow based on the fastest and most accurate flat engine in the market supporting hierarchical and multi-CPU capabilities. PowerDRC/LVS addresses the complex physical verification stage of microchip design of a sign-off quality, which is a critical stage prior to manufacturing at a semiconductor foundry. POLYTEDA CLOUD engineers have the superior experience in developing high-end software for the microelectronics industry.
 

 

X-FAB Texas First SEMI Member Company to Be Recognized Through Certified Partner Program

 
NEWS, Texas, USA, 10/16/2018.

In a key move to inspire the next generation of innovators, X-FAB Texas has become the first SEMI member company to complete the SEMI High Tech U (HTU) Certified Partner Program (CPP), a curriculum that prepares high-school students to pursue careers in STEM fields. 

Under the program sponsored by the SEMI Foundation, X-FAB will independently deliver HTU programs to Lubbock area students. SEMI Foundation awarded X-FAB the certification on Friday, October 12th upon the completion of this year’s HTU program, scheduled for October 9-11, 2018. 

“X-FAB’s partnership with the SEMI Foundation is an incredible opportunity for the youth in our community to access STEM curriculum and explore many types of technological careers that industries in the Lubbock area have to offer,” said Lloyd Whetzel, President and CEO of X-FAB Texas. “Our community partners – including Texas Tech University College of Engineering, LEDA, Region 17 Education Service Center and the numerous school districts across the South Plains – have all made it possible for X-FAB to offer this amazing opportunity to students.”

“The SEMI High Tech U program gives students in the area an opportunity to visit a university setting and explore some of the educational pathways to reach their future career goals,” said Jamie Perez, Director – EOC, Texas Tech University Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering. “We are pleased to partner with X-FAB and the SEMI Foundation to help provide this program to area students.”

“We value our partnership with X-FAB. Workforce readiness programs such as High Tech U help introduce students to future career opportunities that exist in the Lubbock area,” said Christine Allen, LEDA’s Director of Workforce Development & FTZ 260. We share X-FAB’s commitment to support programs of this nature, as they are a great asset to Lubbock’s future growth and continued economic strength.”

“We are delighted to partner with X-FAB in our common goal to motivate the next generation of innovators,” said Leslie Tugman, executive director of the SEMI Foundation. “X-FAB’s commitment to the HTU program helps position college-bound high school students on a track for future employment in high technology. X-FAB’s certification is a tremendous benefit for it students, the community and employers for Lubbock and the West Texas area.”

To win the certification, X-FAB delivered HTU over the past three years with guidance and instruction from SEMI. X-FAB is the first SEMI member company to receive the certification. 

The nonprofit SEMI Foundation has been delivering its flagship program, SEMI High Tech U, at industry sites around the world since 2001 to emphasize the importance of STEM skills and inspire young people to pursue careers in high-technology fields. HTU students meet engineers and STEM volunteer instructors from industry for site tours and hands-on classroom activities such as etching wafers, making circuits, coding and training for professional interviews.

SEMI’s Certified Partner Program identifies organizations that provide quality training and can recruit and educate local high-school students in the value of careers in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Participating organizations are trained to deliver the unique SEMI curriculum with the support of volunteer instructors from the high-tech and STEM industries. SEMI High Tech U is the longest-running STEM career exploration program in the United States with documented student impact. Since inception, SEMI has reached over 8,000 high-school students in 12 states and nine countries with its award-winning program.


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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 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. 

About SEMI
SEMI Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization founded in 2001 to support education and career awareness in the electronics and high-tech fields through career exploration programs and scholarships. For more information, visit www.semifoundation.org.  SEMI® connects over 2,000 member companies and 1.3 million professionals worldwide to advance the technology and business of electronics manufacturing. SEMI members are responsible for the innovations in materials, design, equipment, software, devices, and services that enable smarter, faster, more powerful, and more affordable electronic products. FlexTech, the Fab Owners Alliance (FOA) and the MEMS & Sensors Industry Group (MSIG) are SEMI Strategic Association Partners, defined communities within SEMI focused on specific technologies. 
Since 1970, SEMI has built connections that have helped its members prosper, create new markets, and address common industry challenges together. SEMI maintains offices in Bangalore, Berlin, Brussels, Grenoble, Hsinchu, Seoul, Shanghai, Silicon Valley (Milpitas, Calif.), Singapore, Tokyo, and Washington, D.C.  For more information, visit www.semi.org and follow SEMI on LinkedIn and Twitter.

About Texas Tech University Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering 
The Whitacre College of Engineering is proud to educate young people to solve problems that help society through the application of math, science and ingenuity. The college plays an important role in preparing a diverse and talented workforce for the nation, as well as providing new knowledge that will drive the economic vitality of the state and the nation. We are proud of our excellent, committed faculty who enjoy the world of ideas and technology, and sharing their passion for this profession with our students. The Whitacre College of Engineering was one of the original academic areas when Texas Tech opened in 1925. Today, there are seven departments which offer 12 bachelor's, 13 master's and nine doctoral degrees as well as two graduate certificate programs. Additional information is available at http://www.depts.ttu.edu/coe/about/strategicplan/index.php.

About LEDA 
The Lubbock Economic Development Alliance’s (LEDA) mission is to promote economic growth by creating high-quality jobs, investing in new capital improvements and improving Lubbock’s quality of life. LEDA accomplishes its mission by developing relationships with corporations and individuals across the region, state and nation that help to provide organizations a business-friendly environment and a skilled, qualified workforce. Our partnerships continue to build upon an infrastructure that helps local businesses grow and foster an innovative and competitive landscape for new businesses to the area. Our industry profile continues to diversify proving that Lubbock’s economy is stable and viable. The LEDA team has expert knowledge and valuable relationships to ensure your business’ success. We have knowledgeable staff in the departments of Business Recruitment, Business Retention, Workforce Development, Marketing as well as a Foreign Trade Zone specialist.  LEDA is a Texas non-profit, tax-exempt economic development corporation.

 
Files:
Press_Release_X-FAB_Texas_SEMI_16Oct2018.pdf387 Ki

X-FAB Doubles 6-Inch SiC Foundry Capacity in Response to Customer Demand

 
NEWS, Tessenderlo, Belgium, 08/30/2018.


X-FAB Silicon Foundries SE, the leading analog/mixed-signal and specialty foundry group, today announced plans to double their 6-inch Silicon Carbide (SiC) process capacity at its fab in Lubbock, Texas in response to increased customer demand for high efficiency power semiconductor devices.

In preparation for doubling capacity, X-FAB Texas has purchased a second heated ion implanter for use in manufacturing 6-inch SiC wafers. Delivery of this heated ion implanter is expected by the end of 2018, and production release is planned during the first quarter of 2019 in time to meet projected near-term demand.

X-FAB was the first wafer foundry to offer SiC manufacturing on 6-inch wafers. This doubling of X-FAB's SiC process capacity furthers its strategy to remain the premier 6-inch SiC wafer foundry, and demonstrates the Company’s commitment to SiC technology and the SiC foundry business model.

Advantages of X-FAB's 6-inch SiC process capabilities for power semiconductors include superior high voltage operation, significantly lower transistor On-resistance, significantly lower transmission and switching losses, extended high temperature operation as high as 400°F/204°C, higher thermal conductivity, very high frequency operation, and lower parasitic capacitance. X-FAB's SiC process capabilities allow customers to realize high efficiency power semiconductor devices including high power MOSFETs, JFETs, and Schottky diodes.

Systems with SiC power devices benefit from reduced system size and weight, and because they dissipate less heat are significantly more efficient compared to similar power semiconductor technologies. These features are important for switching power supplies and power converters found in electric vehicles (EVs), wind turbines, and solar converters. High temperature operation improves reliability, especially in hot industrial applications such as aircraft, EV racecars, and train locomotives. Reduced system size and weight is important in portable medical equipment and Hybrid EVs (PHEVs).

According to Lloyd Whetzel, CEO of X-FAB Texas, “With the rising popularity of SiC we understood, early on, that increasing our ion implant capability would be critical to our continued manufacturing success in the SiC marketplace. This is just the first step in our overall capital plan for SiC-specific manufacturing process improvements. This step also enables X-FAB to demonstrate our commitment to the SiC industry and maintains our leadership position in the SiC foundry business.”
X-FAB's 6-inch SiC process capabilities are available at its Lubbock, Texas manufacturing site which is  certified for automotive manufacturing according to the new IATF-16949:2016 International Automotive Quality Management System (QMS).

For more information on X-FAB's SiC process capabilities, contact your X-FAB representative or meet up with X-FAB’s silicon carbide experts at booth C8 at the European Conference on Silicon Carbide and Related Materials (ECSCRM 2018) in Birmingham U.K..

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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 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. 


X-FAB Press Contact
Thomas Hartung 
VP Sales & Corporate Marketing 
X-FAB Silicon Foundries
+49-361-427-6160
thomas.hartung@xfab.com
 

 
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Press_Release_SiC_Ramp-up_ENG_30Aug2018.pdf27 Ki