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Tektronix Commits to 200 GHz SiGe Technology

11 August 2010 – Tektronix, Inc. announced that its next-generation, scalable, performance oscilloscope platform will make broad use of IBM 8HP silicon germanium (SiGe) technology. The 130 nanometer (nm) SiGe bipolar complementary metal oxide semiconductor (BiCMOS) foundry technology offers 2x performance over the previous generation — and targets delivery of oscilloscopes with real-time bandwidth beyond 30 GHz.

“Tektronix has a long history of co-innovation with IBM and the inclusion of SiGe technology in our products has enabled us to deliver a portfolio of world-class, award-winning instruments that help solve some of the most demanding customer challenges,” said Brian Reich, general manager, Performance Oscilloscopes, Tektronix. “SiGe’s performance and the reliability and stability of IBM ’s SiGe manufacturing capability will enable our next generation oscilloscope to achieve greater than 30 GHz acquisition capability for growing customer needs in the computing/communications industries.“

In 1998, IBM became the first company to introduce silicon germanium IC technology into mainstream manufacturing. By 2000, Tektronix announced the delivery of the TDS7000 Series real-time oscilloscopes, the fastest commercially available oscilloscopes at the time, powered by IBM's flagship SiGe 5HP technology. Today, Tektronix continues to utilize industry-leading IC technology from IBM with its fourth-generation SiGe 8HP.

SiGe semiconductors leverage highly-reliable and mature fabrication processes associated with the 50-year-old silicon industry, but with performance levels comparable to that of exotic materials such as Indium Phosphide (InP) and Gallium Arsenide (GaAs). Unlike those alternatives, SiGe BiCMOS provides access to high-speed bipolar transistors on the same die as standard CMOS, enabling a class of circuitry which marries extreme performance with large-scale integration. It is this union which has allowed Tektronix to reliably deliver feature-rich, high-speed data acquisition systems for over a decade.

“For nearly 15 years, Tektronix has worked closely with our engineering team to fully realize the potential of SiGe technology,” said Bernie Meyerson, VP, Innovation, IBM. “SiGe continues to be capable of delivering the performance necessary for a new generation of high-performance test instrumentation. Given the advantages provided by SiGe, it clearly remains the semiconductor of choice for a wide range of high-speed test applications.”

Initial Tektronix product deployments using this 8HP SiGe technology are expected in 2011.

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