Zarlink Introduces World's Fastest Commercially Available Bipolar Technology on Silicon On Insulator
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Zarlink Introduces World's Fastest Commercially Available Bipolar Technology on Silicon On Insulator

SWINDON, United Kingdom, Oct. 5 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ - Zarlink Semiconductor (NYSE: ZL) (TSX: ZL), today introduced a fully complementary SOI (Silicon On Insulator) bipolar foundry technology designed to meet the high performance requirements of DVD (digital versatile disk) players, digital video recorders, and ADSL (asynchronous digital subscriber line) modems.

Building on its complementary SOI bipolar technology, Zarlink developed the new "HSA" process specifically for high-voltage, high-speed analog products. With "HSA", Zarlink is offering the industry's fastest commercially available SOI bipolar process capable of cost-effectively fabricating this challenging class of products.

"Customers want a foundry process that offers a cost-effective, high- performance analog technology, combined with the advantages of SOI, to build high-voltage, high-speed products with high-linearity," said Mike Khan, vice president, sales and marketing at Zarlink's high-performance analog foundry in Swindon, UK. "The technology is available now with full Cadence process design kit support. Leading analog semiconductor companies are currently evaluating the HSA SOI process for a range of high-performance analog devices."

Outstanding performance characteristics

Zarlink's HSA process is a double-polysilicon, triple-metal technology with fully complementary NPN and PNP transistor structures. To overcome traditional trade-offs between high-speed and high-voltage operation and achieve best-in-class ratings in both these areas, the process employs advanced fabrication techniques, including state-of-the-art epitaxy, high- energy implantation, deep trench isolation and rapid thermal processing, all combined on cost effective SOI technology.

Zarlink designed the process to provide an Ft (transit frequency) of 12 GHz for both transistor types at the Vce (collector emitter voltage) of 5 V. The Fmax (maximum oscillation frequency) is 25 GHz. Both transistor types also have high collector-emitter breakdown voltages, typically around 15 V, which are critical for high-power device designs.

"Compared with similar processes currently available from other foundries around the world, the HSA process provides customers with the ability to design the fastest high-voltage devices on SOI," said Dr. Peter Osborne, director of technology at Zarlink's analog foundry.

To assist designers in developing new products on HSA, a comprehensive design kit is available to support the new high-speed, high-voltage complementary SOI process. The kit features an extensive suite of well- characterized, high-quality analog design components. These include a wide range of sizes of NPN/PNP transistors, Schottky diodes, three types of polysilicon resistors, MIM (metal insulator metal) and MIS (metal insulator silicon) capacitors, and inductors on top-level metal.

Zarlink's HSA technology is available for low-cost prototyping using a multi-project wafer processing service. For further information on the HSA SOI process, please go to

Questions and information requests may be directed to Mike Khan at Email Contact, tel: +44 1793 518 668.

About Zarlink Semiconductor

For over 30 years, Zarlink Semiconductor has delivered semiconductor solutions that drive the capabilities of voice, enterprise, broadband and wireless communications. The Company's success is built on its technology strengths including voice and data networks, consumer and ultra low-power communications, and high-performance analog. For more information, visit .

Shareholders and other individuals wishing to receive, free of charge, copies of the reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and Regulatory Authorities, should visit the Company's web site at or contact investor relations.

Certain statements in this press release constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Such forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the Company to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks, uncertainties and assumptions include, among others, the following: rapid technological developments and changes; our dependence on our foundry suppliers and third-party subcontractors; increasing price and product competition; our ability to achieve profitability in the future; our exposure to currency exchange rate fluctuations and other factors inherent in our international operations; and other factors referenced in our Annual Report on Form 20-F for the fiscal year ended March 25, 2005. Investors are encouraged to consider the risks detailed in this filing.

Zarlink, ZL, and the Zarlink Semiconductor logo are trademarks of Zarlink Semiconductor Inc.

CONTACT: Ed Goffin, Media Relations, Zarlink, (613) 270-7112,
Email Contact; Simon Krelle, Pinnacle Marketing Communications,
Zarlink Europe, 44 (0) 7973 821036, Email Contact