Long-Term Large-Signal RF Reliability Characterization of SiGe HBTs Using a Passive Impedance Tuner System

This paper contributes to the exploration of dynamic operating limits of SiGe HBTs. The bipolar transistor breakdown voltages BVCBO and BVCEO are experimentally determined and discussed. DC, small-signal and large-signal simulations are performed, demonstrating the HICUM/L2 model and extracted model parameters to be in good agreement with measurements far beyond BVCEO. A long-term RF stress test is performed, proving SiGe HBTs to be extremely robust and reliably operable far beyond BVCEO within the investigated stress test duration. Only extremely nonlinear large-signal RF operating conditions cause a degradation of RF parameters.