Semiconductor Equipment

First 3D RF-SOI chip solution for 5G devices

14 June 2024

Semiconductor materials vendor Soitec is expanding its partnership with Taiwanese foundry United Microelectronics Corp. (UMC) to bring what it claims is the first 3D chip solution for radio frequency silicon-on-insulator (RF-SOI) technology for 5G devices.

The 3D semiconductor foundry process for RF-SOI technology utilizes more RF front-end modules into a single device by vertically stacking dies and using wafer-to-wafer bonding technology. These are critical components for transmitting and receiving data in smartphones. Additionally, the technology reduces die size by more than 45% to give more bandwidth in 5G devices.

Soitec’s RF-SOI substrates are used to provide mechanical and electrical performance that is needed for large volume manufacturing from UMC’s foundry processes without any degradation of RF performance, the company said.

“By extending the domain of RF-SOI solutions to 3D integration, future smartphones will accommodate new frequency bands envisioned for the 5G-Advance and 6G era, while making room for new features to come,” said Jean-Marc Le Meil, executive vice president of the Mobile Communications Division of Soitec. “At the same time, future XR and other IoT devices will benefit from compact RF Front-Ends, delivering enhanced data rates while ensuring energy consumption efficiency.”

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