As part of that initiative Tower has signed a contract to secure tens of thousands of SOI wafers per year from Soitec SA (Grenoble, France). Tower has made a long-term commitment to secure wafer prices for the next years, despite a tight SOI wafer market.
The 65nm RFSOI process is suitable for making low insertion loss and high power handling RF switches and high-performance low-noise amplifiers with the option of integrating digital logic. The process can reduce losses in an RF switch improving battery life and boosting data rates in handsets and IoT terminals and is expected to be in demand for 5G cellular communications.
The mobile RF front-end market is estimated to reach $22 billion in 2022, from an estimated $16 billion in 2018, according to Mobile Experts LLC.
Tower is also announcing Maxscend Microelectronics Co. Ltd. (Shanghai, China), a provider of RF components and IoT integrated circuits as a lead customer in ramping this technology.
"We specifically selected its [Tower's] 300mm 65nm RF SOI platform for our next-generation product line due to its superior performance, enabling low insertion loss and high power handling,” said Zhihan Xu, CEO of Maxscend, in a statement issued by Tower.
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