By Cameron Chai
Silex Microsystems, a pure-play MEMS foundry, has declared that it has become a part of an international program, Energy-efficient Piezo-MEMS Tunable RF Front-End Antenna Systems for Mobile Devices (EPAMO), funded by the European Union with focus on the development of a novel technology platform for designing sophisticated RF solutions for 4G mobile handsets and base stations.
EPAMO is devising novel technologies to develop future energy efficient mobile communication systems, superior-performance RF systems, very small and integrated RF components, and cost-effective systems to the mobile phone market.
For this program, Silex will contribute PZT piezoelectric thin film technologies for producing actuators, superior-performance metal TSVs for RF applications, and sophisticated integrated passive devices using advanced materials and through-wafer processing.
Sophisticated RF component designs and wafer materials will be developed by EPAMO by integrating novel thin film technologies and materials with sophisticated three-dimensional packaging technologies and CMOS solutions. Dr. Thomas Metzger of EPCOS coordinates the program. EPCOS is a specialist in RF filters and offers module solutions for mobile phones’ RF front-end. EPCOS Netherlands develops RF systems solutions such as smart RF front-ends, tunable power amplifiers and antenna tuners for EPCOS.
Silex Microsystems’ Chief Technologist, Dr Thorbjorn Ebefors stated that the company, as a partner of EPAMO, will use its three-dimensional through-wafer processing experience to develop novel MEMS technologies. Ebefors added that these capabilities will be utilized to produce high-density integrated capacitors, resistors and inductors for a new range of devices. Ebefors further said that Silex is EPAMO’s only pure-play foundry is equipped to provide these technologies to future customers.