October 22, 2015, anysilicon
While the entire semiconductor industry is excited about FinFET and FDSOI process technologies, there is one semiconductor technology that considered by engineers as “the process for real men” and it’s called BiCMOS.
BiCMOS process is essentially a combination of Bipolar transistor and CMOS transistors, it offers many technical advantages and some semiconductor foundries still provide access to BiCMOS technology. Besides having BiCMOS wafer production as an ongoing business they also have a clear roadmap to develop more advanced nodes based on BiCMOS process (e.g 65nm/55nm) etc.
Fun fact: Both Pentium and Pentium-Pro processors were based on BiCMOS technology.
BiCMOS technology is a mix of Bipolar and CMOS technology. CMOS technology provides less power consumption and higher integration while Bipolar technology offers high switching and I/O speed while maintating good noise performance.
It’s safe to say that BiCMOS technology accomplishes both speed over CMOS and lower power dissipation than bipolar technology.
The main drawback of BiCMOS technology is the higher costs due to the process complexity.
There are endless applications for the BiCMOS technology, ranging from microprocessors and memories, to communications devices. Especially applications that require memories, high performing ICs and increased complexity and integration together with very high speed operating frequencies.
New applications such as Automotive Radars, Satellite Communications, LAN RF transceivers, Point¬-to-Point radio , Defense, Instrumentation and more.