TRITON - Heterogeneous Integration of Millimeter-Wave Technology

Project: Research project


The emergence of millimeter-wave technology exploiting unused frequency band starting from 30 GHz opens new vistas for a plurality of applications in fields like aerospace, healthcare, automotive, the industrial sector and telecommunications. However, current semiconductor processes that form the foundation of mm-wave systems are yet not mature enough to fulfill the requirements of this uprising technology and thus pathways towards exploitation of this
future-proof market remain untapped.
TRITON will provide solutions for mm-wave technology along the entire functional chain: originating from high-frequency gallium-nitride-on-silicon-carbide (GaN-on-SiC) and silicongermanium
(SiGe) electronics capable to operate energy efficiently at frequencies like the 30-GHz Ka-band as considered for next-generation wireless access towards silicon-on-insulator (SOI) photonics featuring low-drive modulators and photodetection for seamless translation of signals to and from the optical domain. At the core of TRITON’s technological mm-wave compound lies a silicon interposer that serves as versatile integration bench for III-V and group-IV components. Several functional yet heterogeneous semiconductor elements of TRITON can be processed with different technologies and consecutively blended using industry-compatible assembly processes rather than being stalled from co-integration at the system level due to a technological lock-in. The innovative nature of TRITON builds on two technological advances:
(1) TRITON will investigate the use of GaN-on-SiC and SiGe as new baseline material Systems for mm-wave electronics. The use of a silicon substrate not only greatly reduces the semiconductor production cost compared to conventional III-V integration platforms; In combination with highly linear mm-wave amplification it enables to break the 100 GHz barrier for transit frequencies while at the same time leading to an improved power-added efficiency of
more than 40%. A large compatible die size of 10x10 mm2 enables high integration densities.
(2) TRITON’s large 20x20 mm2 silicon interposer will mechanically and thermally Support mm-wave system-on-chip realizations. A number of modifications backed by extensive models will be introduced to the associated processes. Temporary wafer bonding, deep reactive ion etching, cleaning and layer deposition will be refined in order to advance through-silicon via and redistribution layer technology even up to V/E-band operation. The use of a silicon
interposer and SOI photonics will pave the way for a photonics-enabled interposer.
Effective start/end date1/05/1730/04/20