4/15/2004 - Vitesse Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ: VTSS) announced an industry record of 152 GHz for static frequency divider circuits. This clock rate is 50 times faster than circuits inside desktop computers and is faster than any previously reported process technology. The divide-by-2 and divide-by-4 circuits were designed by BAE Systems and manufactured in Vitesse’s second generation Indium Phosphide Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor process (VIP-2TM). The results were independently verified by the Special Purpose Processor Development Group at the MAYO Foundation.
The VIP-2 process is characterized by transistors with Ft and Fmax in excess of 300GHz, four levels of interconnect metals, and breakdown voltage greater than 4V. It enables designers to use direct digital synthesis of high-frequency signals, thereby simplifying the system design and reducing the number of discrete components required in advanced satellite, aircraft, and terrestrial communications systems. Commercial applications include automotive adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance systems, as well as high-speed wireless data links.
This world-class performance was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) under the Technology for Frequency Agile Digitally Synthesized Transmitters (TFAST) program. Vitesse is partnered with BAE Systems and the University of Illinois to achieve the 152 GHz static frequency divider milestone for the TFAST program under the guidance of Dr. Alfred Hung of the Army Research Laboratory. Dr. John Zolper, DARPA program manager and deputy director, Microelectronics Technology Office, said, “The demonstration of a 152 Gigahertz static divider is a key milestone in developing circuit technology for establishing a new class of high-performance mixed signal circuits for the Department of Defense.” The performance of RF systems is often paced by the performance of mixed signal electronic circuits such as digital synthesizers and analog-to-digital converters.
“These record breaking results show that indium phosphide circuits can be used for very high speed and high breakdown voltage circuit applications where traditional silicon circuits do not yet have the performance,” said Dr. Ray Milano, vice president of optical technologies at Vitesse. “Vitesse’s VIP-2 process is so well defined, that together with BAE Systems, we were able to design and fabricate record-performing circuits with first-pass design success.”
Vitesse is a leading designer and manufacturer of innovative silicon solutions and optical devices used in the networking, communications and storage industries worldwide. Vitesse works to specifically address the requirements of system designers and OEMs by providing high-performance, integrated products that are ideally suited for use in Enterprise, Access, Metro and Core applications. Additional company and product information is available at www.vitesse.com.
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