The world's second largest chip manufacturer Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., which is both an integrated device manufacturer and foundry supplier of chips, has announced that it has added RF capabilities to its 28-nm manufacturing process.
Samsung said its foundry business has released a 28RF process design kit (PDK) and verification method to several customers who have been proving out the simulation and silicon results in real designs. The 28RF process is an additional module on top of Samsung's 28LPP high-k metal gate process. Samsung said the CMOS process has shown Ft (maximum unity gain frequency) of 280GHz and Fmax of 400GHz.
The 28RF PDK includes Spice models, design rules, layout versus schematic checks (DRC/LVS) along with module verification and extraction rules. Samsung said it would begin volume production circuits designed to 28RF early in 2015.
Rival foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) is already offering a 28RF extension to its 28-nm bulk CMOS processes in both the polysilicon and HKMG variants, according to information on its website. The HKMG version is the most capable with a Fmax of up to 310GHz.
At present Samsung is manufacturing digital designs on its 28LPS (polysilicon oxynitride gate), 28LPP (HKMG) and 28LPH (HKMG) process nodes at its S1 wafer fab in Giheung, South Korea and its S2 wafer fab in Austin, Texas.
"With only a handful of companies offering advanced process technology, the options to manufacture RF capabilities into chip designs are greatly reduced,” said Shawn Han, vice president of foundry marketing at Samsung Electronics, in a statement. "As we enter the Internet of Things era, smaller, power-efficient RF solutions provide the critical functionality for the SoC solution as smart connected devices becomes more prevalent. Samsung Foundry is collaborating with our ecosystem partners and customers to provide the most advanced, low cost, lowest power RF technology possible."
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