MagnaChip Semiconductor Corp. and the National Nano Fab Center, both based in Korea, have entered into a silicon-on-insulator radio-frequency (SOI RF) CMOS technology transfer agreement targeting expansion into the emerging RF front-end module ("FEM") foundry market.
The technology agreement transfers 0.18um SOI RF CMOS process technology to MagnaChip. The process technology is a core component of cellular phone FEMs, which can replace existing compound semiconductor and silicon solutions with approximately 30 percent reduced manufacturing process steps. This in turn reduces manufacturing cost, accelerates time to market of 2/3/4G and LTE cellular systems.
The SOI RF CMOS technology is optimized for use in RF switches and antenna tuning applications, which have rapidly expanded as a result of the recent development trends in multiband and multimode cellular phone designs.
In addition to offering excellent switch performance, this technology enables a high level of integration including control, logic, monitoring and power. The resulting FEMs are lighter, thinner and smaller than those using compound semiconductors and can be integrated with digital tunable capacitors, which are key elements of RF tuning circuits.
Eventually FEMs may be integrated with power amplifiers, leading to a single-chip CMOS FEM solutions.
NNFC is the public institute invested by central, local government and KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) in Korea. Its main mission since 2004 is to provide fabrication services to academia, research institutes and industry. NNFC has a nano-fusion infrastructure based on CMOS, MEMS, BIO-MEMS, NANO Materials and Analysis.
MagnaChip Semiconductor is a 30-year-old Korea-based designer and manufacturer of analog and mixed-signal semiconductor products for high volume consumer applications. It has a large portfolio of approximately 2,730 registered patents and 760 pending novel patent applications. Its business is comprised of three key segments: Display Solutions, Power Solutions and Semiconductor Manufacturing Services.