The consortium consists of four partners from three countries: CHALMERS (Project Coordinator), FRAUNHOFFER-IZM, OMMIC, and MC2 technologies (linked-third party to OMMIC).
CHALMERS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY
Chalmers University of Technology was founded in 1829, and is today one of the major Technical Universities in Sweden. Chalmers position is particularly strong in the area of hardware for information and communication technology (ICT). The microwave electronics laboratory (MEL) with about 45 scientists and headed by Prof. Herbert Zirath, performs research related to telecommunications, radar and radio astronomy. The research projects involve frequencies from a few GHz up to 1 THz covering materials, fabrication, device modelling and associated processing including processing of circuits (MMIC). A particular emphasis is put on realization of novel high-speed circuits taking advantage of progress in materials science and/or new device concepts. MEL has a well-equipped measurement lab for characterization of devices and circuits up to and above 320 GHz. MEL is a part of the MC2 laboratory (Department of Microtechnology and Nanoscience) and has full access to the Nano-Fabrication Lab (NFL) MC2, where different MMIC-processes are developed in 1300m2 clean-room environment, both situated in-house at Chalmers.
Chalmers commitment in the GRACE project is to design the W-band signal source MMICs and to coordinate the project.
Fraunhofer is one of the major public research entities in Europe, focusing on applied research in various fields of technology. Fraunhofer IZM is a center for applied research focusing on assembly, packaging and interconnection technologies embedded into the microelectronics alliance (VμE) of the Fraunhofer society. Fraunhofer IZM has a partner organization with TU Berlin. Fraunhofer IZM focuses its activities on the area of microelectronic packaging and heterogeneous system integration.
Fraunhofer IZM has recently installed a substrate packaging line with production like equipment which allows continuous processing on formats from wafer up to 24"x18" panel size. The department "Wafer Level System Integration" (WLSI) develops redistribution layers on CMOS Wafers, III-V Wafers and EMC Substrates. The department runs an RDL-Processing line in an 800 square meter clean room, which is equipped with a production like line with a tool investment of over 40 million. The »RF & Smart Sensor Systems« department stands for application-driven system design competence at Fraunhofer IZM, with focus on communication and radar sensor systems as well as on wireless sensor nodes and systems. Current R&D activities concentrate on: RF characterization of packaging materials and technologies up to 220 GHz, RF design of antennas, antenna systems and passive components, RF and high-speed system design, Design and integration of miniaturized wireless sensor nodes and systems, Power supply and energy management in microelectronic systems, Physical design tools and software.
Within GRACE Fraunhofer will be responsible for the packaging of the MMIC. FHG IZM will work in the field of Fan-out Wafer Level Packaging (FOWLP). Developments will be backed by destructive and non-destructive analytics as well as with reliability testing of the developed technologies.
OMMIC was founded by Philips on January 1st, 2000, with a track record of 30 years of cutting–edge research and development in the fields of III-V epitaxy and integrated circuits technologies. OMMIC has a very clear FAB+ strategy of focusing on high added-value processes, products and services for space, telecommunication, defense and security from 1 to 300 GHz. OMMIC has its headquarters in Limeil-Brévannes on the outskirts of Paris.
OMMIC has developed a commercial offering based on adding value to the product. The Space Market now represents around 35 % of the turnover of the company and consists of standard foundry to turn-key delivery of qualified MMICs and packaged devices.
OMMIC is positioned in the market of high-end microwave and millimetre wave products offering a clear performance advantage as compared to what is available on the market. To maintain its position OMMIC is active in the full value change from Material epitaxy, Foundry service and support, MMIC design, testing, verification, quality and reliability control. OMMIC is also working with several different high-end semiconductor technologies ranging from short-gate length mHEMT processes for low noise applications to GaN HEMT processes for high power. For high-frequency and high power applications short gate length GaN HEMT processes are being developed, e.g., the 100 nm and 60 nm GaN/Si processes (D01GH and D006GH). A cutting edge of OMMICs GaN HEMT processes is also that they are optimized for low noise in comparison to other GaN HEMT processes on the market that are normally tuned only for high power. The GaN/Si processes present excellent Power (e.g. 30 GHz 10 W PA) and Noise performances (e.g. X band LNA, with 1.2 dB NF).They are a real industrial break-through and should drastically impact the market.
OMMIC’s responsibility in the GRACE project is MMIC technology and processing.
MC2 (www.mc2-technologies.com) was founded in 2004, the primary business was the characterization and modelling of high frequency semiconductors, MC2 diversify its activities and moved to the production in volume of a passive imaging camera for security applications, for that purpose, facing the lack of components, MC2 established a MMIC design service and used OMMIC as a foundry for high frequency devices. MC2 and OMMIC are sharing the same main investor and work together to improve their respective offers.
MC2 technologies has carried out modelling for OMMIC’s D01GH 100nm gate-length GaN HEMT process. GaN is now in the phase of replacing GaAs at frequencies up to 100GHz for Power Amplifiers. Recently, MC2 demonstrated a W-band with 27dBm output power in OMMIC’s 60nm gate length GaN HEMT process (D006GH).
In the GRACE project, MC2 is taking responsibility for the power amplifier MMIC design with associated characterization and modeling, as linked third party to OMMIC.