6 November 2012
Soitec increases bonded SOS wafer production to meet Peregrine’s demand
Soitec of Bernin, France, which makes engineered substrates including silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers (as well as III-V epiwafers through its Picogiga International division), has more than doubled production of bonded silicon-on-sapphire (BSOS) substrates to meet increased demand from strategic partner Peregrine Semiconductor Corp of San Diego, CA, USA.
Peregrine, a fabless provider of radio-frequency integrated circuits (RFICs) based on silicon-on-sapphire, has increased peak-production capability of its latest-generation STeP5 UltraCMOS-based RF switches to more than 2 million units per day to support design wins in the radio-frequency front ends (RFFEs) of the most advanced 4G smart phones, as well as other wireless-communication applications. Soitec comments that these wins established Peregrine as the market leader for the main RF antenna switch for cellular handsets (according to the ‘RF Devices/Modules For Cellular Terminal Quarterly Market Report CY2012 2Q’ by Yoshiyasu Andoh of Navian Inc).
Soitec’s direct wafer-bonding technologies are used to produce the BSOS substrate employed in the manufacture of Peregrine’s highly tuned semiconductor wafers. Soitec says that the combination of its substrate with Peregrine’s UltraCMOS process technology and IC design expertise enables high-performance RFICs for a variety of applications.
“We are experiencing powerful traction in the market with the latest STeP5 UltraCMOS RF switches, and we believe these products enable the high level of RF performance that is critical for new, 4G LTE smartphones and wireless devices,” says Mark Miscione, Peregrine’s VP of RF technology solutions. “Soitec’s expertise has been important in the development of a substrate technology that offers the reliability, yield, and process scalability of equivalent bulk CMOS technologies,” he adds.
“As a result of supporting Peregrine Semiconductor’s continued strong growth, we have reached a new level in high-volume manufacturing for our bonded-SOS product,” notes Bernard Aspar, VP of Soitec’s Layer Transfer Solutions business unit. “Bonded SOS is part of our strategy to deliver leading-edge engineered substrates for mobile electronic-device markets.”