SOI process for low-loss smartphone RF switches moves on a generation

November 23, 2015 // By Graham Prophet
Toshiba has announced a next-step in its Toshiba Advanced RF SOI (silicon-on-insulator) – TaRF - process, and says that this give it the lowest-available insertion Loss in the Industry for RF switches in smartphones. Samples fabricated with the TaRF8 process will be available in January 2016.

RF switch ICs, fabricated using the TaRF8 process such as the new SP12T (single-pole/12-throw) configuration, claim the lowest-class of insertion loss in the industry. Sample shipments of SP12T RF switch ICs fabricated with the new process will start in January 2016.

SP12T RF switch ICs features an integrated MIPI-RFFE controller for mobile applications. The device is suitable for use in devices compliant with 3GPP GSM, UMTS, W-CDMA, LTE and LTE-Advanced standards.

Products utilising the TaRF8 SOI-CMOS TarfSOI front-end process achieve insertion loss of 0.32 dB at 2.7 GHz. Compared with products using Toshiba's current TaRF6 process, insertion loss is improved by 0.1dB while maintaining the same level of distortion characteristics.

Toshiba is developing high-performance RF switch ICs utilising its in-house fab to apply SOI-CMOS technology, which is suitable for integrating analogue and digital circuits. By handling all aspects of the production flow, from RF process technology development to the design and manufacturing of RF switch chips, Toshiba says it can swiftly improve SOI-CMOS process technology in response to feedback from the development results of its own RF switch IC products. This Integrated-Device-Manufacturer (IDM) approach allows Toshiba to quickly establish new process technologies suited to actual products and to enter the market with products fabricated with the latest process technology.

Toshiba; www.toshiba.semicon-storage.com