Incize has been active in characterization for RF-SOI since its creation in 2014, what are your insights on the RF-SOI industry and 5G technology today?
Today, the number of foundries developing switches on RF-SOI is increasing, and this trend will continue for the next few years. We saw this opportunity a while back and invested in it. There is no current viable competition for RF-SOI – nothing will replace it in the short term. There are other technologies, but to replace RF-SOI, this is something only imaginable on the long term. It is a stable market with high demand. Other components of the Front-End-Module (FEM) are also moving to engineered substrates (SOI), and Incize enables its customers to develop these technologies.
For the foundries wishing to introduce new engineered substrate (SOI), we help understand the physics behind the technology so that they can migrate to SOI. We help develop test structures and evaluate the technology. From conception to product launch, Incize is the partner of technology enablement.
Concerning the 5G market, we see other engineered substrates that will surely appear on the market in the long term, this is why we also highly invest in R&D to uncover the next generation engineered substrates and be ready to help our clients with this integration.
What is Incize’s added value for customers?
Starting as a spin-off from ‘Université Catholique de Louvain’, and established in 2014, Incize’s debut focused on characterization of SOI technology. Today, Incize has enlarged its service portfolio and can be characterized as a technology enabler and partner for engineered substrates and RF technologies.
We believe RF is an art and we help you to see the whole picture.
Incize customers are wafer suppliers, foundries and fabless companies. The services we offer are testing and modeling of materials and devices used for Radio Frequency (RF) applications. Depending on the use of the substrates, we realize tailored testing and modeling to improve the technology and tune processes.
Although big players have teams devoted to this, thanks to our expertise built up over the years our added value is to undertake advanced tests and modeling that customers can not do; with RF SOI being one of our specialties.
Incize has seen a steady year-on-year growth and today is built up of a team of 10 full time employees dedicated to finding the solutions to our customer’s problems.
3. Could you please tell us more about Incize’s R&D capability and state-of-the-art technologies in getting ready for 5G?
Incize is also very active in research and development in order to continuously stay ahead of the game and provide innovative and state-of-the-art solutions to our clients.
5G is at the verge of tomorrow, although still not well defined (especially for the mmWave band), requirements are getting more challenging. Once the technology is well understood it can be implemented. Foundries and fabless need our help to do it fast and do it well. It is by working together that we will create great value.
Currently we have 7 ongoing research projects. Our research projects address new materials as well as new challenges in design and characterization for 5G communications systems/technologies and beyond.
New materials required to fulfill the stringent requirements imposed by the 5G standards are being investigated. Phase changing materials, piezoelectric materials, porous silicon and III-V materials will be incorporated in the new generations of front-end-modules which will be part of the mainstream RF electronic industry on the long run. Our projects are tailored to investigate the performance of these materials as part of the next generation of substrates and to develop appropriate characterization techniques to benchmark state-of-the-art 5G devices.
Porous Silicon has been largely studied at Incize and we now offer our customers a complete solution from idea to prototype. For our clients we realize feasibility studies, R&D, characterization, modeling and prototyping. We carry out various customizable process in a R&D technological platform dedicated to microfabrication. Whether you wish to integrate porous silicon before or after the fabrication of devices, Incize is your dedicated partner.
We have also been actively researching piezoelectric materials such as quartz, LiNbO3, LiTaO3, ZnO and more in order to fully understand their properties. We have been actively studying new characterization techniques for this fast-growing market. Whether you want to characterize or simulate piezoelectric materials Incize can help you in this trajectory.
One of our research projects is specifically centered on RF-MEMS (Radio Frequency-Micro ElectroMechanical Systems), it aims to increase the skills of Incize in the fields of experimental characterization of these devices. Given the heterogeneous nature of MEMS, the test system must be as complete as possible in order to be able to monitor and collect amaximum of data on the various parameters of the component. RF-MEMS technology can be portrayed as an enabling solution to realise the high-performance and highly-reconfigurable passive components that future 5G communication standards will demand for.
Incize will develop not only a RF-MEMS component test service, but also commercial test solutions for manufacturers of MEMS-RF components in order to speed up qualification on production lines.
Incize is ready to embark on the road ahead to 5G technologies and beyond.