200-mm SOI Wafers to be made in China for RF and Power Semis
Soitec Group and Shanghai Simgui Technology Co., Ltd. a Chinese silicon-based semiconductor materials company, have formed an international partnership to address both China's growing demand and limited worldwide production capacity for 200-mm silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers used in fabricating semiconductors for radio-frequency (RF) and power applications. In addition to giving Soitec its first wafer production capability in China, the agreement boosts the industrial manufacturing capacity of SOI wafers to meet increasing worldwide usage and represents the first step in establishing a SOI ecosystem in China.
The newly signed deal includes a licensing and technology transfer agreement under which Simgui will manufacture Soitecâ€™s 200-mm SOI wafers using Soitecâ€™s proprietary Smart Cutâ„¢ technology. Simgui will establish a high-volume SOI manufacturing line to directly supply the Chinese market. In addition, Simgui will manufacture Soitecâ€™s 200 mm SOI wafers for the global market outside China, expanding Soitecâ€™s supply to customers worldwide. Beyond this initial cooperation, the two companies plan to expand their collaborative efforts in the future to take advantage of their synergies.
â€œWe are very pleased to announce this partnership with Simgui which amplifies the ecosystem using Soitecâ€™s technology and reinforces our competitive offer,â€ said Paul Boudre, COO of Soitec. â€œWhile paving the way for future cooperation between our two companies, it also reinforces Soitecâ€™s global leadership position in SOI and immediately bolsters our presence in the Chinese market.â€
Commenting on the announcement, Dr. Bernard Aspar, general manager of Soitecâ€™s Communication and Power Business Unit, said, â€œIn addition to Soitecâ€™s SOI product volume for the RF market doubling in the last two years, the products themselves are becoming the preferred solutions for RF switches embedded in smart phones and tablets. This collaboration with Simgui will allow us to respond to the fast-growing demand we are seeing from our customers.â€
â€œConsidering that China takes over a 60% market share of the worldwide semiconductor market, to have a strategic collaboration with Soitec is very important to us,â€ said Dr. Xi Wang, Chairman of Shanghai Simgui Technology Co., Ltd. â€œThis will enable us to grow our current SOI market share and address new opportunities as we help to develop Chinaâ€™s SOI ecosystem.â€
â€œThe access to Soitec technology is an accelerator for Simgui to become a key player in thin SOI manufacturing,â€ said Dr. Feng Zhang, General Manager of Simgui. "On the other hand, this partnership will complete Simguiâ€™s capabilities such as Simbond, which will further strengthen both parties' SOI competitiveness."
This strategic partnership enables both Soitec and Simgui to strengthen their positions in the high-growth markets for RF and power semiconductors. While applications for power ICs include automotive electronics, lighting and power supplies, RF semiconductors are key drivers of 4G smart phones. China is the worldâ€™s largest smart phone market. Soitecâ€™s RF-SOI products are already used in manufacturing by most of the leading RF foundries and have been adopted as the preferred substrates for 4G and LTE mobile computing and communication applications.