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8 July 2016

Three-year €33m European project REFERENCE to extend RF-SOI technology for above-1Gb/s 4G+ wireless front-end modules

The pan-European REFERENCE research project - created to leverage disruptive radio-frequency silicon-on-insulator (RF-SOI) technology in developing industrial solutions for the performance, cost and integration needs of RF front-end modules (FEMs) in wireless communications - was launched recently at the facilities in Bernin, near Grenoble, France of project director Soitec, which makes engineered substrates including silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers.

Selected as part of a call for proposals signed on 5 July by the Electronic Components and Systems for European Leadership (ECSEL) European Initiative, the project is supported by the European Community (EC) and several national governments. With an eligible budget of €33m, the project aims to extend RF-SOI technology for new cellular, Internet of Things (IoT), automotive and aeronautic applications.

Over the next three years, the REFERENCE project will focus on developing innovative means to address the unresolved requirements for 4G+ communications using RF FEMs with data rates above 1Gb/s and pave the way for next-generation 5G communications. The scope of work encompasses materials, engineered substrates, processes, design, metrology and system integration.

The REFERENCE project consortium involves 16 partners from five countries including six large industrial companies in the materials, foundry and aeronautics sectors, four semiconductor manufacturing equipment companies (SMEs) and a network of public research institutes and academic organizations:

  • France – Soitec, STMicroelectronics, TELIT, CEA-Leti, Universite Claude Bernard Lyon 1/Laboratoire Multimateriaux et Interfaces (LMI);
  • Germany – GlobalFoundries, Siltronic, Airbus, AED, Sentronics, Fraunhofer Gesellschaft (FhG), Technische Universitat Dresden (TUD), Universitat der Bundeswehr (UBWM);
  • Belgium – IMEC;
  • Portugal – NANIUM; and
  • Ireland – Ferfics.  

"We are very happy to lead this important European research project involving many key partners beyond our direct customers," says Soitec's partnership director Nelly Kernevez. "This initiative allows us to build the European Union's RF community, consolidate our vision of what the future can be and leverage proven material technology to create RF communication solutions for tomorrow," he adds.   

Tags: Soitec SOI Engineered substrates

Visit: www.ecsel-ju.eu

Visit: www.soitec.com

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