The Role of the Silicon Germanium (SiGe) Heterojunction Bipolar Transistor (HBT) in Mobile Technology Platforms

Report No. ARL-TN-0459
Authors: Gregory A. Mitchell
Date/Pages: September 2011; 38 pages
Abstract: Silicon germanium (SiGe) has emerged as an important semiconductor technology for mobile communications systems. Current research efforts are looking at ways of optimizing the tradeoffs of combining digital and analog circuits onto a single integrated circuit (IC) platform. SiGe technology provides the ability to reduce the form factor of software controlled radios in mobile communications platforms. As IC technology continues to shrink in size while increasing in performance, the optimization of SiGe technology will have greater influence in the mobile communications market than ever before. This report introduces application design constraints that apply to typical digital and analog circuits and why these constraints have led to digital silicon (Si) technology and analog gallium arsenide (GaAs) technology. This leads to how SiGe addresses design constraints in both of these areas and how to weigh the performance tradeoffs of digital versus analog components in a mobile communications system design.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2011