The recent SOI Consortium’s FD-SOI and RF-SOI events (Shanghai, September 2019) were record-breakers, with attendance approaching 1000 over the two days. The event was extensively covered in the China tech press, which often cited the opportunities SOI-based technologies offer for technology leadership.
Indeed, as SOI Consortium Executive Co-Director Carlos Mazure noted in a follow-up press conference, the SOI technology drivers dovetail perfectly with the semiconductor industry’s top growth drivers*: IoT, 5G/smartphones, AI/ML and automotive. Here are the takeaways he cited from the China events:
Two RF-SOI luminaries were honored at a post-event dinner sponsored by China wafer purveyor, Simgui. Jim Cable, Chairman and CTO of pSemi, a Murata Company, and Herb Huang, CEO and GM of Ninbo Semiconductor received awards for their contributions to the advancement of RF-SOI (more on this later).
There’s an enormous amount to tell you about from the conferences, so this will be the first round-up post of several.
But briefly, in his talk entitled, “IoT Platform with FDSOI”, the main points made by Gitae Jeong, SVP, Samsung Electronics were:
In his talk, “Leading Industry Innovation by Differentiated SOI-based Solutions”, key takeaways made by
Americo Lemos, SVP, GlobalFoundries included:
The RF-SOI day was lead off by the reading a letter from Dr. Xi Wang. The leading proponent of SOI in China for over a decade as head of the Shanghai Academy of Sciences, he’s now the country’s Vice-Minister of Science & Technology. Until this year, he’s always had the first keynote at the SOI Consortium events in China, but this time he was in a meeting with the VP of Russia. However, his warm letter confirmed his support for the SOI ecosystem, especially the role of SOI-based technologies for China in the 5G era.
This was followed by a talk by the ever popular and insightful Project Leader Danni Song of China Mobile, the largest of the operators there. China issued 5G licenses in May 2019 as the country gears up for 5G commerce. By next year, 5G will be deployed in all cities above the prefecture level. For now, it’s all about sub-6GHz. The challenge, she noted, is in power consumption, which is 2-3x that of 4G in base stations and devices. They see two development spaces: one for consumer and one for verticals, and have teamed up with Sprint on a 5GS (S being for Superior) module. They released a basic modem chip and dongle in June, and a smart chip is coming. She suggests people consult the China Mobile white paper on 5GS for more info.
We’ll cover the many other presentations over the next few weeks – so stay tuned!
*as cited in a 2019 CEO survey by KPMG/GSA.