RF Reliability of SiGe and InP HBTs: A Comparative Study

A comparative RF reliability study of state-of-the-art SiGe HBT and InP HBT process technologies is presented. The static breakdown voltages are experimentally determined and extreme dynamic stress conditions are defined. RF stress tests are performed, confirming the excellent RF reliability of both processes. It is shown that only strongly non-linear RF operation causes considerable degradation of the collector current and transconductance in both devices and a noticeable increase of the emitter resistance only in the InP HBT. This study demonstrates that the BVCEO of state-of-the-art SiGe HBTs, which is significantly lower compared to that of InP HBTs with similar RF performance, does not result in a reduced RF reliability.