Analog Devices’ proprietary XF3 SOI SiGe complementary bipolar process enables them to address the trends toward reduced component cost, board area and power consumption — all while delivering unparalleled performance.
–Advanced Substrate News: The XF3 process is used for what sorts of products?
David Kress: The XF3 process is used to build extremely fast linear products, such as specialized RF parts — splitters, logarithmic amplifiers, modulator/demodulators. ADI uses it for very high-speed comparators for automatic test equipment (ATE) and high-speed amplifiers, as well as for building high-speed clock generators.
ASN: What is the role and how important is the use of SOI in decreasing power consumption?
DK: Reducing power consumption is a secondary consideration in choosing XF3 for ADI components. The primary consideration is that it provides the fastest available performance. Many of ADI’s XF3 products are actually toward the higher end of power consumption because high power is needed to get the necessary speed or other capability.
ASN: For a product design engineer, what are the advantages of using an SOI-based chip?
DK: There are two key aspects of SOI — low parasitic capacitance and low leakage currents. The low parasitic capacitance allows ADI to achieve the very high speeds, which is the most important factor. Low leakage currents allow the parts to run at higher power and potentially at higher temperatures, although that is not often a requirement. SOI processes also remove most causes of circuit latch-up, which simplifies circuit design and improves reliability.
ASN: Moving forward, will there be more products or processes leveraging SOI?
DK: Electronic equipment designs are always looking for faster and faster components. This drives ADI to continue to develop products with our high-speed processes, including those based on SOI. It also drives us to develop ever-faster processes, and SOI will continue to play a part in those developments.