Device and technology evolution for Si-based RF integrated circuits

Herbert S. Bennett, Ralf Brederlow, Julio C. Costa, Peter E. Cottrell, W. Margaret Huang, Anthony A. Immorlica, Jan Erik Mueller, Marco Racanelli, Hisashi Shichijo, Charles E. Weitzel, Bin Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


The relationships between device feature size and device performance figures of merit (FoMs) are more complex for radio frequency (RF) applications than for digital applications. Using the devices in the key circuit blocks for typical RF transceivers, we review and give trends for the FoMs that characterize active and passive RF devices. These FoMs include transit frequency at unity current gain fT, maximum frequency of oscillation fMAX at unit power gain, noise, breakdown voltage, capacitor density, varactor and inductor quality, and the like. We use the specifications for wireless communications systems to show how different Si-based devices may achieve acceptable FoMs. We focus on Si complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS), Si Bipolar CMOS, and Si bipolar devices, including SiGe heterojunction bipolar transistors, RF devices, and integrated circuits (ICs). We analyze trends in the FoMs for Si-based RF devices and ICs and show how these trends relate to the technology nodes of the 2003 International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors. We also compare FoMs for the best reported performance of research devices and for the performance of devices manufactured in high volumes, typically more than 10 000 devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1235-1258
Number of pages24
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Bipolar transistors
  • Cellular phones
  • Communication networks
  • Field-effect transistors (FETs)
  • Figures of merit (FoMs)
  • Power amplifier (PA)
  • RF technologies
  • Technology evolution
  • Transceivers
  • Wireless networks


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