Peregrine Semiconductor has refined its UltraCMOS process technology to extend the reach of CMOS to 13 GHz. This frequency performance breaks speed barriers associated with traditional CMOS. A patented variation of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) process, UltraCMOS maintains the positive attributes of CMOS plus the RF benefits of a perfect insulating sapphire substrate. Hence, it provides the RF performance of GaAs required by mobile, RF and microwave applications. The sapphire substrate eliminates the bulk parasitics, offering faster devices, ultra-low power loss, excellent linearity, unprecedented isolation, ability to integrate high Q passives, and ability to integrate multiple RF/mixed signal digital. The technology and products based on it were demonstrated at June's IEEE International Microwave Symposium in Long Beach, Calif.

The company, using the new process capability of the UltraCMOS, has developed a rad-hard prescaler, the PE9308, for space, military and infrastructure applications. It is the first CMOS device to operate at X band and Ku band.

Another milestone is ultra-low power consumption. At 25 mA (typical) current at 2.5 Vdc supply, the UltraCMOS prescaler consumes about one-tenth the power of equivalent GaAs devices. Other features include high rad-hard performance, fixed divide ratio of four, low SSB phase noise, immunity to single-event latchup, single-event upset of less than 10E-9 errors/bit-day, and tolerance total dose radiation of 100 Krads (Si).

The output frequency can be fed into the manufacturer's line of PLLs, offering a complete frequency synthesis capability from dc to Ku band. The PE9308 is offered in the 8-lead formed flat-pack or die and is in production.

For more information, visit