GLOBALFOUNDRIES Introduces 45nm RF SOI Process to Advance 5G Mobile Communications

GLOBALFOUNDRIES has announced the availability of its 45 nm RF SOI (45RFSOI) technology offering, making them the first foundry to announce an advanced, 300 mm RF silicon solution to support next generation millimeter-wave (mmWave) beam forming applications for 5G base stations and smartphones.

The 45RFSOI offering is the company’s most advanced RF SOI technology. It is optimized for beam forming front-end modules (FEMs), with back-end-of-line (BEOL) features including thick copper and dielectrics that enable improved RF performance for LNAs, switches and power amplifiers. The intrinsic characteristics of SOI combined with RF-centric features enable next-generation RF and mmWave applications, including internet broadband low earth orbit (LEO) satellites and 5G FEMs.

The fast emerging 5G and mmWave markets will require innovations in radio technologies, including low power, integrated mmWave radio front ends, antenna phased array subsystems, and high performance radio transceivers. As OEMs integrate more RF content into their smartphones and new high-speed network standards are introduced, state-of-the-art equipment will require additional RF circuitry to support newer modes of operation. This includes chips that support low latency, higher EIRP, and high resolution antenna scanning for ubiquitous coverage and continuous connectivity.

For improved power-handling benefits for devices operating in the GHz frequency range, 45RFSOI incorporates a substrate resistivity of greater than 40 ohm-cm that maximizes the quality factor for passive devices, reduces parasitic capacitances and minimizes disparity in phase and voltage swing. The technology supports operation in mmWave spectrum from 24 GHz to 100 GHz band, 5x more than 4G operating frequencies.

The 45RFSOI technology leverages a partially-depleted SOI technology base that has been in high-volume production since 2008. The advanced 45RFSOI technology is manufactured at the GLOBALFOUNDRIES’s 300 mm production line in East Fishkill, N.Y. and will provide the industry ample capacity to address this high growth market.

Process design kits for this new process are available now. Customers can use this new process to start optimizing their chip designs to develop differentiated solutions for customers seeking high performance in the RF front end of 5G and mmWave phased array applications.