Posted: July 22, 2013

MagnaChip Semiconductor Corporation and the National Nano Fab Center  have entered into an SOI RF CMOS technology transfer agreement which combines MagnaChip’s specialty manufacturing expertise with NNFC’s robust RF technology. The two companies have targeted expansion into the emerging RF front-end module (“FEM”) foundry market.

The technology agreement transfers 0.18um SOI RF CMOS process technology to MagnaChip. This process technology is a core component of cellular phone FEMs. FEMs can replace existing compound semiconductor and silicon solutions with approximately 30% reduced manufacturing process steps. This  reduces manufacturing cost, accelerates time to market, while addressing the specific needs of 2/3/4G and LTE cellular systems.

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The SOI RF CMOS technology is optimized for use in RF switches and antenna tuning applications, which have rapidly expanded as a result of the recent development trends in multiband and multimode cellular phone designs. In addition to offering excellent switch performance, this technology enables a high level of integration including control, logic, monitoring and power. The resulting FEMs are lighter, thinner, smaller compared to FEMs using compound semiconductor and can be integrated with digital tunable capacitors, which are key elements of RF tuning circuits. As we look further into the future, FEMs may eventually be integrated with power amplifiers, leading to a single-chip CMOS FEM solutions.

Jae Young Lee, President of NNFC commented, “This technology transfer is an example of the successful technology development work done at NNFC which can be applied to commercial production.  NNFC, which is a government-sponsored R&D center, uniquely defined this technology platform. Going forward, NNFC will continue to lend its support to MagnaChip to ensure the continued success of the SOI RF CMOS foundry process technology.”

“The technology transfer of NNFC’s 0.18um SOI RF CMOS is a significant addition to MagnaChip’s growing list of process offerings that are available to its specialty foundry customers,” said Namkyu Park, Senior Vice President of Marketing for MagnaChip’s Semiconductor Manufacturing Services Division.  “Our goal is to continue to offer the latest in differentiated technologies to meet the needs of our customers and partners in the fast-changing semiconductor market.”

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