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  • RF2THzSiSoC


From RF to MM-Wave and THz Silicon SOC Technologies


This CATRENE project aims at the establishment of Si technology platforms for emerging RF, MMW and THz consumer applications such as: 77GHz/120GHz automotive radars, MMW imaging and sensing, fast measurement equipment, 60GHz wireless networking and fast downloading Rx/Tx, 400Gbit/s optical data communications, 4G photonic mobile communication transceiver and RF wireless communication requiring high performance devices (transmitted power, consumption, integration, isolation), as well as 2-way satellite communication systems.

The development of BiCMOS technology platforms will be performed within the project by means of three major contributions:

  • ST will develop a 0.5 THz 55 nm SiGe BiCMOS platform suited for RF, MMW and THz SOC applications.
  • NXP will follow an integral approach and will focus on improvements and breakthroughs with respect to current BiCMOS technology generations of the essential high performance passive RF components.
  • IHP will develop silicon photonics devices for future silicon photonics foundry offerings. The work in this module will be based on, and validated with IHP SiGe BiCMOS technology and will be conducted with the objective of possible integration in the 0.5 THz 55 nm SiGe BiCMOS technology.

Alcatel-Lucent Deutschland AG will demonstrate the superior performance and universality of the technology platform by realizing modules for a 400 Gbit/s optical communication system and an innovative photonic 4G capable radio transmitter.

Robert Bosch GmbH, Silicon Radar GmbH, and University of Siegen together will target at the creation of a SiGe-120GHz-platform for applications in MMW imaging, medical and MMW sensor markets.

IHP's Contribution

  • Development of a photonic SiGe BiCMOS process: Passive photonic components, such as waveguides, splitters and couplers, and a waveguide-coupled Ge photodetector with more than 20 GHz optical bandwidth are integrated in the FEOL of IHP`s SiGe BiCMOS process SG25H3.
  • Building block design for a photonic transceiver for 4G wireless based on IHP photonic SiGe BiCMOS
  • Technology support for the sensor system platform work, including SG13G2 shuttles and development of on-chip antenna with LBE


Project is funded by the BMBF

Project Partners

  • Alcatel-Lucent Deutschland AG (ALUD)
  • TU Berlin
  • Silicon Radar GmbH

Selected Publications

(1) D. Knoll, H. H. Richter, B. Heinemann, S. Lischke, Y. Yamamoto, L. Zimmermann, and B. Tillack, “Substrate Design and Thermal Budget Tuning for Integration of Photonic Components in a High-Performance SiGe:C BiCMOS Process”, ECS Transactions, Vol. 50, No. 9, pp. 297-303

(2) D. Knoll, “BiCMOS integration of photonic components”, Open Bipolar Workshop, IEEE Bipolar/BiCMOS Circuits and Technology Meeting (BCTM), Bordeaux, Oct. 2013 (invited)

(3) S. Lischke, D. Knoll, L. Zimmermann, Y. Yamamoto, M. Fraschke, A. Trusch, A. Krüger, M. Kroh, and B. Tillack, “Low Dark Current Ge PIN Photodiode for a High-Performance, Photonic BiCMOS Process for Radio-over-Fiber Applications”, Proc. of 25th IEEE Photonics Conference 2012, pp. 628-629

The building and the infrastructure of the IHP were funded by the European Regional Development Fund of the European Union, funds of the Federal Government and also funds of the Federal State of Brandenburg.