DOTFIVE is a three-year IP proposal for a very ambitious project focused on advanced RTD activities necessary to move the Silicon/germanium heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) into the operating frequency range of 0.5 terahertz (THz) (500 gigahertz GHz) enabling the future development of communication, imaging or radar Integrated Circuits (IC) working at frequencies up to 160 GHz. For a given lithography node bipolar transistors and more recently HBT have always led the frequency race compared to MOS devices, while offering higher power density and better analogue performances (transconductance, noise, transistor matching).The main objective of this highly qualified consortium is to establish a leadership position for the European semiconductor industry in the area of millimeter wave (mmW) by research and development work on silicon-germanium (SiGe) based transistor devices and circuit design capabilities and know-how. SiGe HBT is a key reliable device for applications requiring power > few mW (future MOS limitation) and enabling high density, low cost integration compared to III-V.
DOTFIVE vision can be summarised as follows:
The overall grand goal of DOTFIVE is to offer silicon based cost effective technologies for the integration of complete electronic functions in the millimeter wavelength (1mm-10mm) range (or 30GHz-300GHz).
To achieve the mid range circuit operating frequency Fc ~150GHz we need at least transistors with Fmax~= 3 Fc ie: ~500GHz or .5THz at RT.
In 2007 at time of proposal the world-class SiGe Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor technologies offered were in the ~250 GHz range.
To DOUBLE the HBT performance in 3 years (faster than ITRS roadmap) the consortium had to assemble a consortium capable of:
a) Theory, modelization, characterization capability
b) SiGe HBT processing capability
c) mmW circuit design capability
With these objectives in mind, the consortium thrived to work somewhat like a VIRTUAL LAB «mmW EUROLAB » for a period of 42 months.
Objectives and key results by period: