NXP, Qualcomm, Skyworks to Keynote IoT Theme in Upcoming IEEE SOI-3D-SubVt (S3S) Conference (San Francisco, Oct.’16) – Late News Submissions Open, Advance Program Available

Search Results for


NXP, Qualcomm, Skyworks to Keynote IoT Theme in Upcoming IEEE SOI-3D-SubVt (S3S) Conference (San Francisco, Oct.’16) – Late News Submissions Open, Advance Program Available

IEEE S3S Conference

10-13 October 2016

Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport

IEEE SOI3DSubthreshold Microelectronics Technology Unified Conference

Theme: Energy Efficient Technology for the Internet of Things

Late News submissions open and Advance Program available

S3SconflogoThe IEEE S3S Conference brings together 3 key technologies that will play a major role in tomorrow’s industry: SOI, 3D integration, and Subthreshold Microelectronics. The numerous degrees of freedom they allow enable the ultra-low power operation and adjustable performance level mandatory for energy-starved systems, perfectly suiting the needs of the numerous categories of connected devices commonly referred to as the Internet of Things. This natural synergy was made obvious during the talks we listened to during past editions of the conference. For this reason, we adopted “Energy Efficient Technology for the Internet of Things” as the theme of the 2016 IEEE S3S.

This theme will be present throughout the conference. It will start on October 10th with a full day tutorial addressing two important IoT-related topics: Energy Efficient Computing and Communications, and will peak during the Plenary Hot Topics session, focused on the Internet of Things, on Thursday October 13th.

We have an outstanding technical program, including a very strong list of invited speakers, all of them leading authorities from illustrious organizations.

Our Keynote speakers are decision-makers from major industries:

  • Nick Yu, VP, Qualcomm, will explain why “The Homogeneous architecture is a dead fairy tale”
  • Ron Martino, VP, NXP, will present “Advanced Innovation and Requirements for future Smart, Secure and Connected Applications”
  • Peter Gammel, CTO, Skyworks, will describe “RF front end requirements and roadmaps for the IoT”

Several sessions will also be of particular interest to designers and technologists who want to learn about new knobs to implement in their circuits: Two tutorials, related to 3D technology and SOI design respectively and the technical sessions on SOI and Low Voltage Circuit Design.

Applications will be illustrated in our session dedicated to SOI circuit implementations.

ieee_logo_mb_taglineYou can look at our Advance Program to get details about the technical content of the conference, as well as the conference venue and registration.EDS-Logo-Reflex-Blue-e1435737971222

And you still have time to actively participate by submitting a late news paper before August 31st.

The conference has a long tradition of allying technical and social activities.

This will be the case again this year with several dinners & receptions that will give us plenty of opportunities to discuss with our colleagues.

Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport

Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport

With its broad scope of technology-related applications and social-oriented environment, the S3S is an excellent venue to meet new people with different but related research interests. It is an efficient way to shed new light on your own focus area, and to sprout new ideas and collaboration themes. It is also a place where industry and academia can exchange about the application of on-going research and tomorrow’s company needs.

Deadline for Late News submissions is

August 31st, 2016


For further information, please visit our website at s3sconference.org or contact the conference manager:

Joyce Lloyd • 6930 De Celis Pl., #36

Van Nuys, CA 91406

T 818.795.3768 • F 818.855.8392 • E manager@s3sconference.org

ByGianni PRATA

Reminder re: top SOI Conference – IEEE S3S ’16 (SOI/3D/SubVt) CFP deadline April 15th. Keynotes: NXP, Skyworks, Qualcomm

S3SconflogoDon’t forget to get your paper submitted to the top conference with a major focus on the SOI ecosystem: the IEEE S3S (SOI/3D/SubVt). The Call For Papers (CFP) deadline is April 15, 2016. As we noted for you in ASN back in December, the theme of the conference, which will take place October 10th – 13th in San Francisco, is “Energy Efficient Technology for the Internet of Things”.

As of this writing, the following keynote speakers have been confirmed:

  • Ron Martino, NXP : “Advanced Innovation and Requirements for Future Smart, Secure and Connected Applications”
  • Peter Gammel, Skyworks : “RF front end requirements and roadmaps for the IoT”
  • Nick Yu, Qualcomm : topic TBAieee_logo_mb_tagline

Invited speakers include:

  • Jamie Schaffer, GlobalFoundries : topic TBA
  • Philippe Flatresse, ST Microelectronics : “Body bias and FDSOI for Automotive”
  • Akram Salman, Texas Instruments : “ESD for advanced digital and analog technologies”
  • Xavier Garros, CEA-Leti : “Reliability of FDSOI”

As always, there will be a Best Paper Award and a Best Student Paper Award. But students take note: the recipient of the Best Student Paper will also receive $1000 from Qualcomm.

Papers related to technology, devices, circuits and applications (more details here) in the following areas are requested :

  • SOI
  • 3D Integration
  • Subthreshold MicroelectronicsEDS-Logo-Reflex-Blue-e1435737971222

For current information on the conference visit the S3S website at: http://s3sconference.org/

LinkedIn users will also want to join the conference group at IEEE SOI-3D-Subthreshold Microelectronics Technology (S3S) Unified Conference.


ASN Exclusive Interview: Skyworks on SOI for RF

Skyworks has a growing portfolio of chips on SOI. Kevin Walsh, the company’s Marketing Director of Analog Solutions, tells ASN why.

Kevin Walsh, Marketing Director of Analog Solutions, Skyworks

Kevin Walsh, Marketing Director of Analog Solutions, Skyworks

Advanced Substrate News: Can you tell us generally about Skyworks’ vision and position in the market?

Kevin Walsh: Skyworks Solutions, Inc. is an innovator of high performance analog semiconductors and one of the world’s largest wireless semiconductor manufacturers, producing over five million semiconductors per day.  Skyworks supports multiple markets and applications including automotive, broadband, cellular infrastructure, energy management, GPS, industrial, medical, military, wireless networking, smartphones and tablets. Whether it is through discrete semiconductors, complex modules or highly integrated solutions, Skyworks is an enabler of ubiquitous connectivity. With the “Internet of Things” upon us, our vision is to be the market leader in wireless applications for whatever segments we enter.

ASN: What kinds of chips does Skyworks put on SOI? Why?

KW: Skyworks is technology agnostic so depending upon the customer’s needs and application, our design engineers will choose the best technology for the given performance requirements and price point. And with our manufacturing team being so adept at integrating all types of semiconductor technology into our products, it does not matter whether it is a single die module or multi-chip modules featuring a combination of GaAs, CMOS, SiGe and SOI dies. So essentially, whatever is required to benefit our customer’s needs is what we will choose.
Having said that, SOI specifically favors applications requiring high levels of integration and small device size. Our SOI product portfolio includes RF switches, digital attenuators and low noise amplifiers for LTE and multimode cellular systems, wireless LAN and general RF switch industrial applications – given their requirements for increasingly more functionality in a small size.

Examples of two of Skyworks’ many SOI-based chips: SKY13448-001: 8-bump WLCSP, 200 μm diameter, 400 μm pitch (1.1 x 1.1 x 0.36 mm) package SKY13477: 15-bump WLCSP, 200 μm diameter, 400 μm pitch (1.942 x 1.142 x 0.420 mm) package

Examples of two of Skyworks’ many SOI-based chips:
SKY13448-001: 8-bump WLCSP, 200 μm diameter, 400 μm pitch (1.1 x 1.1 x 0.36 mm) package
SKY13477: 15-bump WLCSP, 200 μm diameter, 400 μm pitch (1.942 x 1.142 x 0.420 mm) package

ASN: What are the advantages in moving to SOI-based technologies?

KW: There is a misconception that moving to SOI is all about cost. It is clear that when you compare SOI costs to bulk CMOS costs, SOI starting costs are substantially higher. However, SOI is still a valid starting point for designing certain devices given that it allows the digital logic, analog and RF circuitry to exist on the same die. The end result is a smaller form factor for the switch or LNA functionality when compared to some alternative multi-die methods.
In today’s consumer devices, there is a much smaller area allocated for RF functionality, in large part to accommodate for the myriad of other new functions being designed into these connected platforms. In other words, the RF space is getting smaller with the addition of new components. This is especially true in smartphones where more sensor technology exists today than in previous product generations. This all requires increasing levels of integration, which is helping SOI’s adoption in the RF space.

Block diagram, Skyworks’ Family of SkyOne™ Front-End Module (FEM) Solutions, which integrates all RF and analog content between the transceiver and antenna on SOI  for simplified design within demanding next generation mobile platforms.

Block diagram, Skyworks’ Family of SkyOne™ Front-End Module (FEM) Solutions, which integrates all RF and analog content between the transceiver and antenna on SOI for simplified design within demanding next generation mobile platforms.

ASN: What are the growth drivers (end-markets, trends) for your CMOS chips, especially those on SOI?

KW: Everywhere we turn there is an explosion of applications requiring mobile connectivity: automotive, broadband, cellular infrastructure, energy management, GPS, industrial, medical, military, wireless networking, smartphones and tablets, to name just a few. Add to that connecting wirelessly to cloud-based computing (where applications and data are located on Web servers with users accessing that data through application portals on their devices), location-aware advertising (that uses data to alert consumers to deals near them), the explosion of social media and on-demand content, and you begin to see that consumers demand access anywhere and anytime.
But with this increasing demand for a seemingly endless range of devices that touch our everyday lives comes an unprecedented level of complexity. These high performance solutions must preserve battery life, increase data rates and solve signal interference problems while occupying minimal board space. This complexity plays directly to Skyworks’ strengths and technology agnostic approach. We have experience in all core building blocks and specialized process technologies to deliver a complete system solution.
Skyworks is well positioned to capitalize on the “Internet of Things” Tsunami and lead the way in semiconductor innovation across the broader analog semiconductor market.

ByGianni PRATA

Skyworks announced that its industry-leading Silicon-on-insulator (SOI) switching technology is now being used by European, Japanese, Korean and North American car manufacturers

SkyWorksSOIAntennaSwitchWLCSP_1lowresSkyworks announced that its industry-leading Silicon-on-insulator (SOI) switching technology is now being used by European, Japanese, Korean and North American car manufacturers for advanced infotainment systems. Specifically, Skyworks’ solid state technology is enabling seamless low noise and broadband switching between audio, Blu-ray/DVD, navigation, cell phone and vehicle security display inputs as well as a variety of other high bandwidth media sources in automobiles. For Tier-1 smartphone providers, Skyworks is also sampling the SKY13396-397LF, a state-of-the-art, CMOS SOI, double-pole, double-throw (DPDT) switch that provides high linearity performance, low insertion loss and high isolation, well suited for driving today’s antenna diversity solutions.

ByGianni PRATA

Skyworks credits part of its Q1 FY12 success to having commenced volume production of advanced SOI-based Antenna Switch Modules (ASMs) for Huawei

SkyworksMCM3 2x2_5_800Skyworks credits part of its Q1 FY12 success to having commenced volume production of advanced SOI-based Antenna Switch Modules (ASMs) for Huawei. With ongoing development of advanced switching solutions for handsets, data cards, and other applications, Skyworks cites the SKY18108 as one example of their recent ASMs tailored to meet the needs and requirements of various China tier-one manufacturers.

ByGianni PRATA

Skyworks has launched two new SOI CMOS single-pole, triple-throw (SP3T) switches

Skyworks has launched two new SOI CMOS single-pole, triple-throw (SP3T) switches, the SKY13345-368LF and the SKY13385-460LF.  With their high linearity performance and low insertion loss, these devices target WLAN (802.11 b/g) and Bluetooth® applications in the 2.4 to 2.5 GHz frequency range.

ByGianni PRATA

Skyworks is augmenting their RF front-end portfolio

Skyworks is augmenting their RF front-end portfolio with a new family of SOI-based antenna switch modules (ASMs) for dual and triple-mode smart phones, tablets and datacards, which require design flexibility, high performance and cost-effective architectures.

ByGianni PRATA

Skyworks’ new antenna

Skyworks new antenna switch modules for 2/3/4G handset and data card platforms use both GaAs and SOI technologies.

ByAdele Hars

GF: 45nm RF-SOI PDKs for 5G

GlobalFoundries has announced availability of its 45nm RF-SOI technology (read the press release here). Dubbed 45RFSOI, the company says it’s the first 300mm RF solution for next-gen mmWave beamforming applications in future 5G base stations and smart phones.

The technology supports mmWave spectrum operation from 24GHz to 100GHz band, 5x more than 4G operating frequencies.

Skyworks’ CTO Peter Gammel says that the 45RFSOI process, “…is enabling Skyworks to create RF solutions that will revolutionize emerging 5G markets and further advance the deployment of highly integrated RF front-ends for evolving mmWave applications.”

The news was quickly picked up by publications across the industry, with EETimes noting that RFSOI has been a big GF success story.

Production will be at the company’s East Fishkill fab. The PDKs are available now.

The 45RFSOI news follows hard on the heels of GF’s announcement a few days prior that the company is teaming up to build a fab offering 22nm FD-SOI in western China, that it’s expanding its Dresden FD-SOI capability by 40 percent, and that it’s adding new RF-SOI capabilities to its fab in Singapore.

GlobalFoundries is a member of the SOI Industry Consortium.


RF-SOI vs. FD-SOI with RF – What’s the difference?

Is RF-SOI the same thing as RF on FD-SOI? No, it’s not. However, the runaway success of RF-SOI and the growing list of recent announcements related to FD-SOI with integrated RF has lead to some confusion in the press and social media. The two are different technologies, addressing different markets, and built on two very different types of SOI wafers. The use of one technology or the other depends on the requirements of the targeted RF application.

For the non-technical reader, here is a bit of basic background. At the most simplistic level – RF: radio frequency – is part of the analog family, and as such is all about waves. And when you talk about waves, you talk about losses over distance (attenuation), speed, wavelength and frequency – which is why the RF design has a rep of being something of a black art. The distance to cover, the power envelope and the amount of data to carry over that distance (and of course, the cost) determine the chip solutions. An important part of the RF chip solution is the choice of the wafer substrate itself.

So here’s a quick primer to help sort out what’s what. Please bear in mind, though, that this is a fast-evolving world, so what you’re about to read is not a definitive and forever what’s what – but more of a general (and simplified) “this is how it is currently shaking out”.

RF-SOI – Talk to the Tower

When it comes to using your mobile device for data transmission over a 2G, 3G, 4G/LTE/LTE-A (and next, 5G) network, you still need dedicated RF front-end modules (FEMs). FEMs handle the back-and-forth of signals between the transceiver and the antenna. They contain multiple parts, including switches, power amplifiers, antenna tuning, power management and filters. Traditionally, they were built on gallium arsenide substrates. But more and more, the multiple chips in FEM chipsets are being reduced to single SOCs built on a special class of high-resistivity SOI wafers. This is the realm of RF-SOI. The wafers for RF-SOI are designed specifically to handle the special needs of getting a lot of data transmitted wirelessly, often over relatively long distances.


Soitec premiered a radically new and immensely successful generation of RF-SOI substrates in 2013: the enhanced Signal Integrity™(eSI) family, which introduced the concept of the “trap-rich” layer developed at UCL. (Image courtesy of Soitec)

The latest standards (LTE-A and 5G) raise the stakes ever higher, requiring mobile devices to support more bands, higher frequency bands, and emission and reception on adjacent bands with downlink and uplink carrier aggregation. (Carrier aggregation refers to the simultaneous reception of multiple frequency bands to improve data throughput.)

For RF designers, that means choosing substrates that favor low RF loss and high RF linearity. A couple of years ago, SOI leader Soitec, in partnership with UCL, brought breakthrough RF-SOI wafer technology to the market (read about that here). Now, a few generations later, Soitec estimates that one billion RF devices are produced each quarter using their advanced and enhanced Signal Integrity™(eSI)wafers for RF. In fact it would be nigh near impossible to find a smartphone that doesn’t have an RF FEM based on  RF-SOI wafer technology.

Here at ASN, we’ve covered many of the leaders in RF-SOI FEMs over the last few years. Click on any of these names to get an idea of what they’re doing: IBM (now part of GlobalFoundries), Peregrine, SkyWorks, TowerJazz, ST, Qorvo, Sony, Qualcomm, Grace, Toshiba and MagnaChip. To learn more about the latest developments in wafer technology for RF-SOI, click here. With demand soaring, Soitec’s most advanced RF-SOI wafers are now also being produced by Simgui in China – read about that here.

In fact, the cover story and technical features of the October 2015 issue of the prestigious Microwave Journal is dedicated to RF-SOI – click here to read it.

So in terms of terminology, that’s “RF-SOI”. Now let’s look at how RF on FD-SOI is different.

RF in FD-SOI – for digital integration

When we talk about RF in FD-SOI, we’re typically talking about some RF functionality being integrated into SOCs that are essentially digital processors. True, you can integrate RF functionality into an SOC built on planar bulk (it’s generally agreed to be a nightmare in bulk FinFETs, though). But you can integrate RF into your digital SOC much more easily, efficiently and with less power if you do it in FD-SOI.

RF/analog has a (well-deserved) rep of being the most challenging part of chip design. Analog/RF devices are super sensitive to voltage variations. The digital parts of a chip, which have strong, sudden signal switching, can raise havoc with nearby analog/RF blocks. This means that the analog/RF designers have to care acutely about gain, matching, variability, noise, power dissipation, and resistance. They use all kinds of specialized techniques: FD-SOI makes their job a lot easier (good explanation in slide 8 here). What’s more, FD-SOI’s analog performance far exceeds bulk.

What sort of chips are we talking about? For now, we’re talking about processors for mobile devices, for IoT, for automotive, for consumer electronics. When we say “RF in an FD-SOI SOC”, we’re currently talking about chips that are connecting over a relatively short distance to a nearby box or device (<100m for local WiFi, or a few meters for Bluetooth or Zigbee, for example).

ST’s new set-top-box processors on 28nm FD-SOI (read about them here) are a great example. They are the first on the market integrating 4×4 802.11ac Wi-Fi (using IP from Quantenna) and High Dynamic Range support. This means the set-top boxes can reliably serve lots of HD video via WiFi to multiple users throughout the house (hopefully ending the cry: “Who’s hogging all the Wifi?!?”). ST credits their 28nm FD-SOI silicon technology with providing that highly-efficient RF, state-of-the-art WiFi performance and robustness required for reliable video delivery inside the home.

For RF on FD-SOI – as in other FD-SOI apps – designers use SOI wafers with ultra-thin silicon, ultra-thin insulating BOX and phenomenal top silicon thickness uniformity. These wafers are not the special high-resistivity wafers used in RF-SOI. Rather, they are the latest generations of the same (amazing!) FD-SOI wafers that Soitec introduced in 2010. (For an excellent, in-depth interview with the Soitec FD-SOI wafer guru on the supply chain and the most recent developments, click here.)


The top silicon uniformity of Soitec’s “FD-2D” wafers for FD-SOI is guaranteed to within +/-5Å at all points on all wafers. 5 Å across a wafer is equivalent to 5 mm over 3,000 km, which corresponds to approximately 0.2 inches over the distance between Chicago and San Francisco. That uniformity is maintained not just across each wafer, but from one wafer to the next. The BOX thickness is 10nm to 25nm, depending on the customer’s approach.

This is the type of wafers that GloFo, ST, Samsung, Freescale, Sony, several other companies in Japan and many more around the world are using when they say they’re doing RF on FD-SOI. Bear in mind that this level of SOC integration is fairly new (Samsung and TSMC just announced RF integration into SOCs for the first time in 2014 on 28bulk). But using FD-SOI technology and the corresponding ultra-thin SOI wafer substrates makes life much easier for the RF folks on the design teams, gets far better performance and far lower power at a much more attractive cost.

Further ahead, FD-SOI is also a candidate for transceivers and baseband/modem SOCs, which require high-performance digital and analog/RF integration. But even with transceivers on FD-SOI, you’ll still need the FEM on RF-SOI to handle the interface.

So, that’s the current difference between RF-SOI and RF on FD-SOI.

Hope that helps to clear things up?