6 November 2020
Multi-year supply deal from GlobalFoundries for Soitec’s 300mm RF-SOI wafers
GlobalFoundries (GF) of Santa Clara, CA, USA (one of the world’s largest semiconductor foundries, with operations in Singapore, Germany and the USA) and engineered substrate manufacturer Soitec of Bernin, near Grenoble, France have announced a multi-year supply agreement for 300mm radio-frequency silicon-on-insulator (RF-SOI) wafers. Building on the long partnership between the two firms, the strategic agreement secures the supply of wafers that will allow GF to further expand its role in providing solutions for the next-generation mobile phone market.
The primary driver of the wafer supply agreement is the growth of GF’s most advanced RF-SOI solution, 8SW RF SOI. With what is claimed to be best-in-class switches and low-noise amplifiers, the 8SW RF-SOI RF front-end module (FEM) platform is optimized to deliver the combination of performance, power efficiency and digital integration required by the designers and suppliers of both existing and future 4G LTE and sub-6GHz 5G smartphones. The new platform is using the most advanced RF-SOI substrates developed by Soitec. GF’s 8SW RF-SOI customers are said to include the top FEM providers for 5G sub-6GHz smartphones.
“Eight out of ten smartphones on the market today include GlobalFoundries-manufactured silicon, and the demand for our differentiated RF solutions continues to skyrocket as the industry transitions to 5G,” says Dr Bami Bastani, senior VP & general manager for Mobile and Wireless Infrastructure at GF. “The 5G revolution would not be possible without GlobalFoundries and our industry-leading specialty RF solutions. Securing this critical supply of wafers from our long-standing partner Soitec enables GF to meet the ever-growing demand for our 5G solutions,” he adds.
“Our engineered substrates provide the foundation for manufacturing high-performance and high-reliability semiconductor devices required by the electronics industry,” says Soitec’s chief operating officer Dr Bernard Aspar. “With our manufacturing facilities both in France and in Singapore, we have put in place the largest worldwide capacity with the most advanced engineered substrates to meet the needs of this fast-growing 5G market.”
The new agreement builds on the existing partnership between GF and Soitec. In 2017, the two firms entered into a five-year supply agreement for fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) wafers for GF’s 22FDX platform. Manufactured in Dresden, Germany, GF’s 22FDX platform has since realized $4.5bn in design wins, with more than 350 million chips shipped to customers around the world.