TARANTO is awarded ‘Best Technology Pioneer’ project by the ECSEL JU this year, because of exceptional technological advances that the project has reached with its 32 partners. The project consortium comprises the main European players in a complete value chain that extends from the BICMOS semiconductor technologies development, to the integrated circuits designs that enable system demonstrators to reach unsurpassed performance. The partners are research centres, universities, laboratories, and industrial leaders and users, thus combining the highest scientific excellence and the ability to validate the work carried out on appropriate demonstrators to be successful on the targeted markets.
The main objectives of TARANTO are to develop HBT (Heterojunction Bipolar Transistors) devices with high maximum frequency (Fmax: 600GHz) built into high-density CMOS processes, like 90nm for Infineon and 55nm for STMicroelectronics, and even higher maximum frequency at 700GHz in IHP pilot line with a technology that remains compatible with industrial constraints.
While IHP has reached this breakthrough of 700GHz, Infineon reached 495GHz, which are now the new state of the Art worldwide for pilot line and industrial BICMOS technologies. STMicroelectronics has simulated 580GHz with its new BICMOS technology. STMicroelectronics and Infineon are now on the way to reach the 600GHz targeted in TARANTO.
These BICMOS technologies have been used within TARANTO to reach outstanding results for optical and 5G wireless telecommunication systems, and for innovative radar systems concepts.
In telecommunications, they enabled the best world performance to date for optical telecommunication with a 1.52 TB/s over 80km of optical fibre link, achieved by Nokia and Micram. More efficient 5G wireless systems have been demonstrated like an E-Band backhaul transceiver, a wireless repeater with beam forming for final link to homes, and a 6G transceiver with beam forming for mobile users. Thus TARANTO enables the complete telecommunication link from the cloud to the users, meeting the needs of more efficiency in energy use and faster telecommunications required by volumes of data that shall be transferred and to the ubiquitous use of smart sensors in industry, cities and automated vehicles. Worth to note also is that the wireless beamforming systems enable the use of more directional beams, reducing unwanted interference and wasted radio energy and thus enable a healthier environment.
These smart sensors can be equipped with the radar systems that have been developed in TARANTO, which frequencies range from 79 to 240GHz with mm positioning accuracy, low consumption, low cost, weather immune, and capable of relative speed determination of moving objects. They can equip any system that needs for smart mobility, like ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) and autonomous transportation, but also moving robots in storage facilities or even in assembly lines, and else any systems that need for objects determination like persons monitoring in public spaces, indoors, or liquid levels monitoring for industrial, or vital constant surveillance in health environments.
These impressive achievements have drawn great international attention and have been globally recognized as breakthrough, propelling Europe into pole position with these crucial BICMOS technologies.