Tektronix Inc. is to use IBM 8HP silicon germanium (SiGe) technology in its next-generation, scalable, performance oscilloscope platform.
The 130 nanometer (nm) SiGe bipolar complementary metal oxide semiconductor (BiCMOS) foundry technology provides double the performance over the previous generation and is planned to be used to in oscilloscopes with real-time bandwidth beyond 30 GHz and due for release in 2011.
“SiGe’s performance and the reliability and stability of IBM’s SiGe manufacturing capability will enable our next generation oscilloscope to achieve greater than 30 GHz acquisition capability for growing customer needs in the computing/communications industries,” said Brian Reich, general manager for performance oscilloscopes at Tektronix.
IBM silicon germanium IC technology was first released into mainstream manufacturing in 1998 and Tektronix used the SiGe 5HP technology in its TDS7000 series real-time oscilloscopes introduced in 2000.
SiGe semiconductors leverage the reliable and mature fabrication processes associated with the 50-year-old silicon industry, but with performance levels comparable to that of exotic materials such as Indium Phosphide (InP) and Gallium Arsenide (GaAs). Unlike these alternatives, SiGe BiCMOS provides access to high-speed bipolar transistors on the same die as standard CMOS, enabling a class of circuitry which marries extreme performance with large-scale integration.
Through it active participant in such bodies as the IEEE Society, PCI-SIG, SATA-IO and USDB-IF Tektronix can anticipate the proper levels of bandwidth support for the leading serial standards. It has a Performance Oscilloscope Investment Protection Program which provides customers with a cost-effective migration path to higher-performance oscilloscopes as their needs evolve.