3 August 2020
Tower launches RF switch technology with record figure of merit of under 10fs
Specialty foundry Tower Semiconductor Ltd (which has fabrication plants in Migdal Haemek, Israel, and at its US subsidiaries in Newport Beach, CA and San Antonio, TX, and at TowerJazz Japan Ltd) has launched a radio frequency (RF) switch technology with record RF device figure of merit (Ron x Coff < 10fs versus 70-100fs in use today for the most advanced applications) targeting the 5G and high-performance RF switch markets.
The switch performs over an extremely wide range of frequencies spanning MHz to all frequency bands discussed for 5G, and further into the mmWave. This results in extremely low insertion loss and very small device size.
The switch is also non-volatile, so it consumes no energy when in the on-state or off-state, suiting IoT and other power and battery-sensitive product applications.
Tower has demonstrated the versatility of the patented technology by integrating it with some of its other process platforms such as silicon germanium (SiGe) BiCMOS and Power CMOS.
The new switch technology enables more efficient, novel RF system architectures in applications including mobile, base-station and millimeter-wave (mmWave) communications. Tower says that it is engaged with multiple customers and partners to bring the technology to market for next-generation products. The firm is offering multi-project wafer runs (MPWs) in 2021 for select customers.
The new RF switch is being presented at the IEEE’s International Microwave Symposium (IMS 2020) with results from electrical devices, process integration and circuits fabricated at Tower. Presentations are part of the Tu1G: Innovative RF Switches and Applications session (Tu1G-2 and Tu1G-5). The Live Stream event is taking place on 4–6 August.