Auto Electronics

BiCMOS process improves amplifier precision, power efficiency

National Semiconductor has developed a proprietary silicon-on-insulator (SOI) BiCMOS analog process technology specifically for operational amplifier applications in the 0.9 V to 12 V supply voltage range. The VIP50 (vertically integrated PNP) process is said to lower power consumption and noise levels in automotive and other applications. Op-amps manufactured on the new process include two precision devices, LMP7711 and LMP7701; a low-noise amplifier, LMV791; a low-power, high-bandwidth unit, LMV651, and two sub-1 µA ICs, the LPV511 op-amp and the LPV7215 comparator.

National said all six products offer better power efficiency, lower noise levels and increased precision compared with National’s previous-generation integrated circuits and competitive products. Suneil Parulekar, senior vice president of National's signal-path division, said the improvements will allow automotive design engineers to develop higher-performance fuel-injection and transmission systems.

Parulekar said the VIP50 process technology implements transistor elements on an SOI wafer with trench isolation, minimizing parasitic capacitances and greatly improving bandwidth-to-power ratios. The isolation process allows transistors to condition signal voltages beyond the supply rails and also eliminates the effects of leakage currents that limit performance at vert high temperatures.

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