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GlobalFoundries' UHV 180nm Process Hits 700V

When You Need to do Some Heavy Lifting–Electrically Speaking

Jun. 20, 2018 – With all the media hype and heavy emphasis on the leading-edge semiconductor process technologies that will soon reach single-digit nanometer numbers, working-class process technologies often get no respect. That's why I was so pleased to learn that GlobalFoundries at the end of May that the Ultra High Voltage (UHV) variant of its 180nm ASIC semiconductor process technology–the Process Geometry Formerly Known as 0.18 micron–includes transistors capable of withstanding 700V.

Processors made with 10nm process geometries and smaller are great for crunching numbers or for impersonating HAL 9000 computers in cloud form, but when you need to drive a multi-horsepower motor or a really big solenoid actuator or deal with any sort of electrical energy straight out of a spigot connected to the AC electrical transmission system, you can't use those teeny tiny transistors directly. They're too fragile. They'll go bang and all you'll end up with is some nicely toasted silicon with the magic blue/black smoke lazily wafting away on the breeze like Robin Williams playing Aladdin's genie, finally released from the close confines of its magic-lamp IC package.

Although 180nm technology might be considered "mature," it still packs a wallop when it comes to handling high voltages.

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