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Friday, March 11, 2005
 austriamicrosystems Launches Process Supporting High-Speed Photodiode for Next Generation DVD Applications
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Message Text: Novel High-Speed / High-Sensitivity Wafer Process Available to Chip Designers for Blue Laser Photo Detection ICs (PDICs)

austriamicrosystems' (SWX:AMS) business unit Full Service Foundry announced today the availability of a new specialty wafer process with a novel photodiode for blue laser DVD Photo Detector ICs and industrial applications.

Migration from red to blue laser technology in next generation DVD drives will enable reading and writing functions on Digital Versatile Discs for storing more than 27GB which is equivalent to more than 10 hours of TV broadcasting. This will represent a quantum leap from today's DVD drives employing 640nm laser, which are limited to a maximum storage capacity of 4.7GB. The Blu-Ray Disc consortium is driving the mass-market introduction of this technology and expects the market to be in significant volumes by 2006.

The integrated high-speed / high-sensitivity photodiode supports wavelengths from 780nm down to below 400nm. Therefore it is ideally suited for PDICs for any current and future CD and DVD standards as well as various industrial laser products. The specialty wafer process as such is a high-speed, low-noise process, based on the proven 0.35um CMOS mixed signal base technology transferred from TSMC. It provides a very fast switching rate of 0.5ns and noise levels of 0.5nA per square root hertz, enabling the fastest read, write and rewrite times for optical recording.

"The very short rise and fall times of less than 1ns for our new diode translate into bandwidths of greater than 500MHz. Such values are 2-3x higher than bandwidths of PDICs in any competitive silicon technologies. More importantly the sensitivities of greater than 0.24A/W for blue light are among the best values ever reported and correspond to more than 80% of theoretically feasible sensitivity at 400nm wavelength. Key to this exciting progress has been a photodiode device available in our specialty process," explained Martin Schrems, Director of Process Development & Implementation at austriamicrosystems.

"This new leading edge photo sensor, which is based on our 0.35um specialty process, enables our customers to design a very competitive solution for early entry to the high volume blue laser DVD PDIC market. With our leading analog high volume wafer manufacturing capabilities we are the perfect partner to fabless design houses and IDMs," commented Peter Gasteiner, Senior Vice President and General Manager of austriamicrosystems' Business Unit Full Service Foundry. "The integration density of more than 17k gates/mm2 and the rigorous modularity to the 0.35um TSMC CMOS base process enable the simple integration of analog mixed signal sensor interface circuits."

The 0.35um technology is supported by the well-known HIT-Kit, an advanced design-kit based on Cadence, Mentor or Agilent software. These design kits include high precision simulation models, general-purpose analog cells, transistors libraries, logic gates, peripheral cells and simulation models for several packages. In addition to the HIT-Kit austriamicrosystems is offering analog IP blocks, RAM/ROM generation service and packaging services in ceramic or plastic.
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