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SiGe Microsystems -- SiGe Chips and Processes
Founded: Feb 1996
Status: Private
Issue(s): 8/98
2680 Queensview Dr.
Ottawa, Ontario K2B 8J9
Tel: (613) 820-9244
Fax: (613) 820-4933

SiGe Microsystems was incorporated in February ’96 to commercialize its silicon germanium (SiGe) technology for RF and wireless applications. Its goal is to build a chip company that can grow to annual sales of $50 million by the year 2000. The company has secured about $2 million from angels and institutional investors and will be closing another round of about $5 million soon. SiGe has about 10 employees.

SiGe Microsystems provides SiGe processing and Si/SiGe bipolar design services for RF and digital ICs. The insertion of Germanium in the epitaxial base of a silicon bipolar transistor produces higher cut off frequencies, simultaneously reducing noise and power dissipation with the added advantages of enhanced gain and Early voltage. In a typical 0.6µ emitter width bipolar (BJT) process, the introduction of a SiGe epitaxial base has produced device parameters such as fT of 40 to 50 GHz and fmax of 50 to 70 GHz

The company has negotiated a license with IBM under a series of patents to provide SiGe epitaxial products and services by the method of UHV-CVD (ultra-high vacuum chemical vapor deposition). Prior unsuccessful industry efforts to commercial the technology were based on molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). SiGe has secured the commercial rights to a Leybold Sirius UHV-CVD system capable of SiGe growth on 6-inch and smaller wafers, a system unique to IBM. The company develops process technology in partnership with semiconductor producers and provides training for their personnel in the use of the Leybold reactor. SiGe Microsystems’ SiGe HBT technology is compatible with conventional silicon bipolar or BiCMOS processing and is claimed to be portable to conventional bipolar or BiCMOS processes with minimal investment or modification.

In the design area, the company can provide tile wafer arrays, SiGe device modeling, and proprietary designs. SiGe Microsystems offers access to its commercial UHVCVD facility, a deposition system identical to that used by IBM in production of SiGe/Si bipolar and BiCMOS ICs. The company has a Class 100 clean room with a capacity of 5000 six-inch wafers/month (4" and 3" wafer processing is also available) growing to 10,000 wafers/month soon. A batch of 25 wafers can be processed in 1 week.

Currently the company’s goal and main source of revenue is to deliver customized SiGe development and production processing to semiconductor producers. A company could develop SiGe technology in-house, but it’s probably at least a 2 year effort. SiGe Microsystems can port a SiGe process to a foundry in less then 9 months. Many tier-1 semiconductor suppliers are currently evaluating the company’s technology. Its longer-term goal is to develop and sell standard product RF and wireless ICs and modules. Wireless products will target the 1-2 GHz freq. spectrum and datacom products will target the 2-20 Ghz range. Product introductions are expected in ’99. A rep sales force will be formed and 1 Korean rep. has already been signed. The company is searching for a VP of sales and marketing.

Jim Derbyshire, CEO
Dr. Stephen Kovacic, Director of R&D
Bent Hessen-Schmidt, VP of marketing
M. Raj Kumar, VP of sales

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