We will work with you to break down functionality to the component level. Our designers will identify trade-offs, suggest ways to improve performance and help you achieve your cost goals.
Layout of the design is often overlooked in the MMIC development process. While our competitors are turning towards automation of this process, we firmly believe that layout is still an art form and that our designs benefit from our attention to the smallest details. Symmetry and hierarchy form the basis of our artwork.
Because MMIC manufacturing is a costly endeavor, we place a great deal of importance on simulation. Our experts use linear and non-linear simulators to replicate all aspects of the design, including process variations. We also consider different topologies throughout the simulation phase to enhance performance, production readiness and reliability of our MMICs.
Coupling factors related to layout proximity must be resolved using electromagnetic techniques. Our team includes PhD-level experience in electromagnetics, making us uniquely qualified in the use of commercial EM software. There is so much more to electromagnetic analysis than just S-parameters, and we know how to interpret the results to assess all interactions between various circuit elements.
Determining the right foundry for the job is as critical as the design itself. We have submitted hundreds of masks to all of the major foundries throughout the U.S. and, as a result, have built working relationships within each one. We rely on these relationships to ensure we deliver clean data and correctly tiled designs that meet foundry specifications, processes and deadlines. In addition, as their trusted partner, foundries give us early access to the newest processes well before they are released to the general design community.
The long-term reliability of any component, active or passive, depends on careful thermal analysis. Our full 3D finite element simulation tool allows us to analyze the thermal signature of any MMIC in minutes. As a result, we turn thermal analysis into thermal optimization and consistently create devices that run cooler than our competition by tens of degrees. Cooler devices have higher reliability, higher gain and higher power added efficiency — all of which we can bring to your application.
For many designers, circuit performance ends at the ports of the MMIC, with little thought paid to the package. This rarely works out well. At Custom MMIC, we consider the package an integral part of our design process. Our experience with all types of packages, from plastic to custom housings, has led us to develop proprietary models for these components. As a result, we get transitions right the first time.
With Custom MMIC, you'll have more confidence at the moment of truth — when your product is released. We ensure that all aspects of our MMICs have been examined and vetted prior to release and that you have the supporting documentation to back up its performance characteristics. Our critical pre-release steps include ESD testing, over-temperature testing, device burn-in, and application support.
Supporting our designs with our own measurement and test capabilities ensures consistency and oversight across all critical points of development. Our in-house measurement and test facilities are capable up to 75 GHz. Our equipment includes vector network analyzers, noise figure meters, spectrum analyzers, scaler power meters, and wafer probe stations. We are experts at on-wafer testing and die/device level characterization and we have customized our ATE software to quickly capture large amounts of data.
As a custom supplier, we understand that every implementation is different. That’s why every engagement includes a high level of application engineering support. We provide outline drawings, bias circuitry, and assembly notes for every one of our MMICs to ensure they’re part of an end-to-end solution. Our team of application engineers is readily available for troubleshooting after installation and can offer you assistance throughout the process.
Often treated as an afterthought with disastrous results, test fixtures are an integral part of the MMIC design process and scope of work. That's why we create assembly drawings, board designs and test plans for our packaged surface mount (SMT) and die or chip-level devices during the development process, not after.