SiGe heterojunction bipolar transistors and circuits toward terahertz communication applications

Jae Sung Rieh, Basanth Jagannathan, David R. Greenberg, Mounir Meghelli, Alexander Rylyakov, Fernando Guarin, Zhijian Yang, David C. Ahlgren, Greg Freeman, Peter Cottrell, David Harame

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

83 Citations (Scopus)


The relatively less exploited terahertz band possesses great potential for a variety of important applications, including communication applications that would benefit from the enormous bandwidth within the terahertz spectrum. This paper overviews an approach toward terahertz applications based on SiGe heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) technology, focusing on broad-band communication applications. The design, characteristics, and reliability of SiGe HBTs exhibiting record fT of 375 GHz and associated f max of 210 GHz are presented. The impact of device optimization on noise characteristics is described for both low-frequency and broad-band noise. Circuit implementations of SiGe technologies are demonstrated with selected circuit blocks for broad-band communication systems, including a 3.9-ps emitter coupled logic ring oscillator, a 100-GHz frequency divider, 40-GHz voltage-controlled oscillator, and a 70-Gb/s 4:1 multiplexer. With no visible limitation for further enhancement of device speed at hand, the march toward terahertz band with Si-based technology will continue for the foreseeable future.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2390-2408
Number of pages19
JournalIEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2004 Oct

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received May 5, 2003. This work was supported in part by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency under SPAWAR Contract N66001-02-C-8014.


  • BiCMOS integrated circuits
  • Communication systems
  • Heterojunction bipolar transistors (HBTs)
  • High-speed integrated circuits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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