Advanced epitaxial growth of strained SiGe into a Si substrate enhances the freedom for designing high speed bipolar transistors. Devices can be designed by altering the Ge percentage, a procedure known as bandgap engineering. An optimization study on NPN SiGe-base bipolar transistors has been performed using computer simulations focussing on the effect of the Ge profile on the electrical characteristics. In this study it is shown that the base Gummel number is of major importance on the maximum cutoff frequency and the Ge-grading itself, which induces a quasielectric field, is of minor importance. Because of the outdiffusion of the boron dope in the base and the relatively thin critical layer thickness of approximately 600 A it appears that a box-like Ge profile with the leading edge approximately in the middle of the base is optimal. The predicted maximum cutoff frequency is 45 GHz, a sheet resistance of 8.5 kfi/n and current gain of 80. The optimized device was fabricated and measurements were performed showing good agreement with the simulations.