24 January 2018
GlobalFoundries delivering 45nm RF SOI customer prototypes for 5G front-end modules
© Semiconductor Today Magazine / Juno PublishiPicture: Disco’s DAL7440 KABRA laser saw.
GlobalFoundries of Santa Clara, CA, USA (one of the world’s largest semiconductor foundries, with operations in Singapore, Germany and the USA) says that its 45nm radio-frequency silicon-on-insulator (45RFSOI) technology platform has been qualified and is ready for volume production at its 300mm production line in East Fishkill, NY, USA. Several customers are currently engaged for the advanced RF SOI process, which is targeted at 5G millimeter-wave (mmWave) front-end module (FEM) applications, including smartphones and next-generation mmWave beam-forming systems in future base stations.
GlobalFoundries says that, as next-generation systems move to frequencies above 24GHz, higher-performance RF silicon solutions are required to exploit the large available bandwidth in the mmWave spectrum. The firm’s 45RFSOI platform is optimized for beam-forming FEMs, with features that improve RF performance through combining high-frequency transistors, high-resistivity SOI substrates and ultra-thick copper wiring. Moreover, the SOI technology enables easy integration of power amplifiers, switches, low-noise amplifiers (LNAs), phase shifters, up/down converters and voltage-controlled oscillators (VCO)/phase-locked loops (PLLs), which lowers cost, size and power compared with competing technologies targeting future multi-gigabit-per-second communication systems, including internet broadband satellite, smartphones and 5G infrastructure.
“GlobalFoundries’ leadership in RF SOI solutions makes the company a perfect strategic partner for Peregrine’s next generation of RF SOI technologies,” comments Jim Cable, chairman & chief technology officer of Peregrine Semiconductor Corp of San Diego, CA, USA – a fabless provider of SOI-based RFICs. “It enables us to create RF solutions that provide our customers with new levels of product performance, reliability and scalability, and it allows us to push the envelope of integrated RF front-end innovation for evolving mmWave applications and emerging 5G markets,” he adds.
“To bring 5G into the future, mmWave innovations are needed for allocating more bandwidth to deliver faster, higher-quality video and multimedia content and services,” says Bob Donahue, CEO of Anokiwave Inc of San Diego, CA, USA, which provides highly integrated silicon core chips and III-V front-end integrated circuits for millimeter-wave (mmW) markets and active antenna-based solutions. “GlobalFoundries’ RF SOI technology leadership and 45RFSOI platform enables Anokiwave to develop differentiated solutions designed to operate between the mmWave and sub-6GHz frequency band for high-speed wireless communications and networks,” he adds.
“GlobalFoundries continues to expand its RF capabilities and portfolio to provide competitive RF SOI advantages and manufacturing excellence that will enable our customers to play a critical role in bringing 5G devices and networks to real-world environments,” says Bami Bastani, senior VP of GlobalFoundries’ RF business unit. “Our 45RFSOI is an ideal technology for customers that are looking to deliver the highest-performing mmWave solutions that will handle demanding performance requirements in next-generation mobile and 5G communications.”