Digitimes Research is predicting a doubling of the global SOI market between 2019 and 2024, “…thanks to significant expansion in applications to mobile devices, communication infrastructure, IoT devices and automotive electronics in the 5G era…”. (Read the full article in Digitimes here.)
Beyond the continued enormous success of SOI in front-end modules (FEMs) for RF (aka RF-SOI, which as we know is found in every smartphone on the planet), the report cites high growth specialty areas such as imaging chips for smartphones and photonics in data centers. They also predict that FD-SOI will be “massively applied” in 5G, with applications in base stations and data centers. And of course, low voltage and low power consumption will be the big drivers in IoT and wearables.
All this is driving Soitec, the major SOI wafer manufacturer, to expand capacity at its facilities in France and Singapore in 2020, says the report. This is happening in strategic cooperation with Shanghai-based Simgui.
As noted in ASN about a year ago, Soitec and China’s SOI wafer leader Simgui announced an enhanced partnership and increased production capacity of 200mm SOI wafers in China, securing future growth. At that time the two companies redefined their manufacturing and licensing relationship to better serve the growing global market for RF-SOI in mobile and Power-SOI in automotive and consumer electronics.
Separately, Okmetic of Finland, which specializes in SOI wafers for MEMS, sensors and RF, is also doubling its capacity (we covered their 2019 Shanghai presentation here.)
(Image courtesy: Soitec)