Peregrine Semiconductor's UltraCMOS® technology traces its origins to government research-and-development innovation during the 1970s. Founders Ron Reedy and Mark Burgener were convinced RF technology needed to be built on a silicon on insulator (SOI) substrate to accommodate the performance and integration necessary to build a device like a Star Trek tricorder or a Dick Tracy watch. After overcoming the barriers required to make advanced SOI commercially feasible, Reedy, Burgener and colleague Graham Garcia published a paper in 1988 sharing the findings on what would become the foundation for the company's UltraCMOS technology, a patented, advanced form of SOI. Peregrine Semiconductor was founded two years later in 1990, and the first UltraCMOS patent was filed in 1993. The technology not only worked, but its high performance, reliability and affordability proved to be the driving force behind the RF SOI revolution. Today, Peregrine Semiconductor and its founders are credited as the founders of RF SOI technology.
The history of the UltraCMOS technology platform is dotted with many industry firsts:
- SOI using a sapphire substrate, which is naturally radiation tolerant and immune to single-event latch-up (SEL)—ideal for space and satellite applications
- Flip-chip SP4T for dual-band GSM handset applications
- Digital tunable capacitor (DTC) product category, which solves antenna impedance matching challenges
- Advanced SOI silicon substrate, the 130 nm UltraCMOS 10 platform, which will facilitate the first truly integrated RF front-end (RFFE)
- UltraCMOS power amplifier that meets or exceeds GaAs performance
- RF SOI 300 mm technology platform with the introduction of UltraCMOS 11 technology