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About USTI – Our Evolution in the Silicon Valley
Universal Semiconductor Technologies, Inc. (USTI) is a volume producer of high technology products for commercial, biomedical and military electronics applications. With an impressive investment in experienced professionals and in the most advanced design and manufacturing equipment, our company foundry has been manufacturing products in high-speed Gallium Arsenide (GaAs) technology and thin-film passive components since 1985 in the heart of Technologies – Silicon Valley.
We are the end result of many companies that have joint our core business over the last 30 years. GaAs semiconductor components primary consist of transmit solutions, including power amplifiers, control devices, gain blocks and millimeter wave devices for use in defense and commercial applications. Commercial semiconductor applications include wireless communication network and satellite. Some of USTI customers includes top industry players such as: BAE Systems, Motorola, Samsung and Raytheon.
USTI’s initial products were broadband microwave amplifiers. These products, along with GaAs Field Effect Transistors (FET), remain the cornerstone of USTI’s technology.
The company now manufacturers many standard products operating from 0.5 GHz to 40 GHz. A few examples of available products are shown below:
- 2-18 GHz, 18-40 GHz Amplifiers
- 6-18 GHz, 3.5 dB Noise Figure
- 6-18 GHz, 1 Watt Power Output
- 2-8 GHz, 1 Watt Power Output
- RF Log Amplifiers
- Limiting Amplifiers
- Loop Amplifiers
USTI’s designers have developed a family of standard amplifiers modules that are not only used in the standard products, but can be effectively combined and aligned to achieve special customer specifications quickly and reliably. This has provided the resource for the company to become one of the industries’ largest suppliers of specialized amplifier products.
USTI is committed to supplying the military systems manufacturer with integrated microwave assemblies, which will help solve their systems’ technical and packaging problems. The company has developed in-house capabilities in the area of mixers, switches, filters, and other functions to support the military integrated assembly market.
- Military Integrated Assemblies
- Frequency Converters
- Switched Amplifiers
- TTL-Controlled Functions
- Amplifier Filter Assemblies
- High-Density Packaging
A dedicated staff of experienced engineers is available to design equipment to customer’s specific requirements. The company’s philosophy of using standard modules and design techniques is used to design and manufacture these specialized assemblies.
USTI is also a major supplier of core transmit and receive functions for wireless communications applications for satellite and terrestrial-based networks including mobile and fixed-site voice and data communications. Many of these products find applications in areas including:
- L-Band Satellite Subscriber Terminals
- C- and Ku-Band VSAT
- Digital radios from 7.0 GHz to 38 GHz
- Wireless Local Loop (WLL)
- Cellular/PCS Base Stations and Subscriber Units
In-house GaAs FET and monolithic microwave integrated circuit (MMIC) capability is the basis for USTI to provide high-performance products at competitive prices in the commercial market. Also, a combination of thin-film products and softboard techniques are used to reduce manufacturing costs and maintain high reliability for the commercial products. Contact the factory or one of our representatives for more information on these products.
USTI manufacturers GaAs FET and MMIC used in its products in the in-house production foundry.
- GaAs FETs and MMICs
- GaAs FETs Operational to 40 GHz
- GaAs MMIC Amplifiers, 2-18 GHz
- GaAs MMIC Switches to 26 GHz
The available products in this area include FET chips, packaged devices and high-rel qualified devices.
USTI Delivering Complete Semiconductor Solutions for a Fabless World
GaAs Technology Leadership
USTI has been producing state-of-the-art GaAs semiconductor components since 1985. These devices have made possible unique system solutions for a
broad spectrum of wireless system applications from 400 MHz up to 40 GHz. This long history of experience and leadership allows the Company to best leverage the most from a technology well suited for high-frequency, low voltage and efficient linear applications required by today’s wireless communications terminal and infrastructure designers.
USTI’s GaAs products are produced using implanted MESFET as well as epitaxial and pHEMT structures. By having a variety of options, the Company selects the best fit for a given product function based on achieving maximum, cost-effective performance. In addition, USTI continues to explore new and emerging GaAs-based technologies as they become available.
Maximizing performance in the most cost-effective way possible is the focus of USTI’s semiconductor product designs. High-volume GaAs technology is used to produce some of the world’s finest power products for both subscriber and infrastructure applications. Dedicated to solving the needs of end applications, USTI products have been designed and optimized for the specific modulation standards in which they will perform. This means linear, efficient, small, cost-effective and powerful solutions can be yours.
USTI products are designed to provide maximum performance while occupying very little circuit board real estate and, where possible, are surface mountable. In many instances USTI product solutions can reduce by as much as one-third the space requirements of alternative technologies.
USTI products are ideally suited for a number of transmit frequency applications including cellular 800 MHz – 1.0 GHz), satellite (1.6 – 1.7 GHz),
PCS (1.8 – 2.0 GHz), and WLAN/Wireless local loop (2.2 – 2.7 GHz). Modulation formats as varied as GSM, TDMA, CDMA, DCS, PHS and other are all supported. Power GaAs RF ICs and discrete power FETs form the backbone of USTI’s diverse product offerings.
If you have unique system requirements contact USTI first. In most cases we can provide performance data and information as to how a specific product will function. Select receive products, offerings high levels of integration and dynamic range, can form complete chip set solutions.
Unlike other GaAs component suppliers, USTI is also a manufacturer of radio transceiver subsystems, transceiver components and radios. As a result, the company understands the unique system trade-offs associated with many wireless system requirements. This experience provided the necessary link between strong products and a realization of the overall solution to the designer’s system needs.
In most cases, application support is the key ingredient to over-all success. USTI is committed to superior application support services. Our engineering team can provide proven schematics and layouts, and critique any end application to best ensure prototype success. In this way, the performances of USTI products are realized early-on in the designer’s system.
USTI products are assembled in-house and at local subcontractors, as well as offshore. Along with the security of multiple sources, this provides the Company with a unique ability for rapid reaction to meet the needs of existing product production and quick time-to-market of new products.
As a leading supplier of high-frequency GaAs components USTI has developed unique strengths in high-volume and accurate RF testing. In many
cases the testing environment is the same as the application circuit in which the product will perform. This means guaranteed RF performance within the most meaningful environment possible. For complex modulation requirements, products are tested for performance under the actual modulation specifications – giving further confidence that USTI products will offer the best performance obtainable in your system design.
USTI GaAs-based products are proven and robust. All products undergo rigorous qualification and testing procedures based on long established, tough, military standards. In most cases, these standards have qualified USTI’s products for use in some of the most demanding military and space applications imaginable.
Gallium Arsenide (GaAs)
The company has developed a 57,000 square foot facility into one of the most modern GaAs semiconductor and thin-film microwave component production facilities.
USTI manufacturer’s semiconductors in its fully equipped Class 10 and Class 100 Fab Rooms.
The GaAs FET and MMIC chips are fabricated from wafers that have ion implanted or Epitaxial active layers. Epitaxy can be from MBE, VPE, MOCVD processes. The gate structure is sub ½ micron long and refractory metals are used. The resistors for the MMICs are active GaAs layers. For crossovers, air bridges are utilized and for good grounding, via hole technology is applied. Silicon Nitride is utilized for the MIM dielectric and for surface protection and passivation. Equipment in place consists of:
- Mask Aligners with IR Capability
- Plasma Silicon Nitride Deposition Equipment
- Reactive Ion Etchers for Via Holes
- DC and RF Magnetron Sputter Vacuum Systems
- E-Beam Evaporation Systems
- Auto Probe and Mapping Capabilities
Microwave Integrated Circuits (MICs)
In addition to the GaAs FETs and MMICs, all thin-film microwave integrated circuits are manufactured in-house using high-energy sputtering process for reliable and repeatable metal adhesion. Equipment is also operational for manufacturing silicon MOS capacitors.
The most advanced computerized design tools and test equipment are utilized. Some of this design and manufacturing equipment is listed below:
- CAD Systems and Appropriate Software
- HP 8510T Network Analyzer Including Complete Software for Mixer Characterization
- Phase-Noise Measurement Equipment
- Magnetron-Sputter System for Circuit Manufacturing
- Automatic Production Test Equipment
- Laser, Seam and Tungsten Inert Gas (TIG) Welding Stations
Class “S” Facility
USTI’s manufacturing facility meets Class “S” requirements for high-rel and space programs. The MIC assembly and test areas are Class 100,000 environment.
The operations are vertically integrated – purchasing raw material such as GaAs wafers – performing all processing and manufacturing functions in-house. The company maintains extensive process controls. For example, each thin-film circuit lot is qualified for metal adhesion and bondability, and is
traceable to the metallization lot. GaAs wafers are traceable to the starting ingots, and each GaAs wafer is qualified for die attach and bondability. The management and technical staff are experienced in the management of high-rel programs for both GaAs semiconductors and higher-level assemblies.
MIL-STD-883 screening is also accomplished in-house with the following equipment:
- Burn-In/Stabilization Bake Ovens
- Nitrogen Bake Chamber
- Thermal Shock Chamber
- Centrifuge Station
- Gross-Leak Test Unit
- Fine/Gross Leak Test Unit
Quality and Reliability
USTI products are designed and manufactured to meet the stringent quality and reliability requirements for military applications. The production techniques of manufacturing large volumes of standard amplifier modules – with a reliable alignment system – ensures that even special design requirements can be based on proven module design. Switches, mixers and other components are also designed using a standard design approach and supported by MMIC insertion.
USTI’s MIL-I-45208 inspection system and MIL-Q-9858 quality assurance program establishes and maintains product standards and workmanship practices. Quality inspectors provide the audit function needed to guarantee that all parts meet the rigid USTI quality standards and customer requirements. Bonding stations are calibrated every four hours in accordance with MIL-STD-883, and test and measurement equipment is calibrated in accordance with MIL-STD-45662.
The design considerations for component-derating, thermal engineering, manufacturing techniques, and hermetic cases ensure that reliability is designed and manufacturing into the product. Specific care is taken in the thermal design of all components, but particularly in the manufacture of power amplifiers. The company has developed proprietary technique for mapping thermal profiles of FETs mounted on circuits. This technique provides information on the quality of the die attach on the completed circuit, prior to installation in the case.
Junction temperature measurement techniques also available include:
- Infra-Red Microscope
- Electro-Fluorescent Fiber-Optic Probe
- Liquid Crystal
Reliability and reproducibility are increase through the amplifier alignment techniques of removing or changing bonds, rather than adding tuning elements. The circuit construction consists of an all-gold metal system on alumina substrates.
To achieve the highest level of reliability under operational conditions, all military products are screened to the Table 1 requirements. This 100% screening is based on MIL-STD-883 testing requirements.
For those customers and programs requiring full compliance to MIL-STD-883 screening, USTI offers additional screening to Table 2 requirements as an option.
In addition to these standard screening programs, custom screening procedures for specific customer requirements are available.
USTI products are designed and manufactured to meet the testing requirements of MIL-E-5400 (airborne), MIL-E-16400 (shipboard) and the EMI requirements of MIL-STD-461.
USTI’s technology is capable of producing following products:
1um HBT for fiber communication
2um HBT and 0.5um pHEMT switch for handsets and WLAN applications
0.1um, 0.15um and 0.25um pHEMT technologies for applications from discrete low noise/power FET’s, SATOM, VSAT, base station. Automotive radar, and 40Gb/s fiber optic MMIC’s
0.5um pHEMT for SATOM, GPS, cable TV tuner, electronic toll collection and WLAN
Since then USTI had maintain the leadership as a foundry that provide solutions to the industry, new solutions are constantly created to maintain the pace of the constantly evolving Silicon Valley. At USTI, we continuously improve our fab process and adopt new technology to ensure the qualities and device performances up to customer’s expectation. Our goal is to become a world-class pure-play GaAs wafer foundry company.