Industry Buzz

RF-SOI Innovator JP Raskin (his team’s work is in your smartphone) Awarded Blondel Medal

Posted on February 8, 2016
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Professor Jean-Pierre Raskin (right) receiving the Blondel Medal for his industry-changing work on RF-SOI. Jury president Professor Pere Rocal I Cabarrocas (left) of the Ecole Polytechnique – Université Paris-Saclay presented the prize.

RF-SOI substrate guru Jean-Pierre Raskin, whose team at UCL* has driven the technology behind the most advanced wafer substrates for RF applications, has been awarded one of the highest honors in electronics: the prestigious Blondel Medal. The technology he pioneered is now in virtually all the world’s smartphones, and used by just about every RF foundry on the planet.

Dr. Raskin’s team first demonstrated a radical new approach (dubbed “trap rich” at the time) for improving the RF performance of high-resistivity (HR) SOI substrates back in 2003. Teams from UCL and Soitec then worked together on the industrialization, making it commercially available in SOI substrates for RF applications.

ASN readers will recognize this work from a 2013 article Dr. Raskin co-authored, Soitec and UCL Boost the RF Performance of SOI Substrates.

The result was a new wafer substrate Soitec named eSI, for enhanced Signal Integrity, and it’s been wildly successful. In fact Soitec estimates that more than one billion RF devices are produced each quarter using their eSI wafers. It’s been used for 2G, 3G and now 4G and LTE. With the advent of LTE-Advanced (aka LTE-A), 5G and Wi-Fi (aka Gigabit Wi-Fi), the latest iterations of the Raskin team’s technology are in Soitec’s most advanced eSI90 wafers.

The Blondel Medal is the highest honor awarded by the SEE (the French Society for Electricity, Electronics, IT and Communications Technologies). It recognizes a researcher under 45 years old who has authored works or recorded exceptional achievements that have contributed to the advancement of science in Information and Communication Technology.

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*UCL is the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium. Click here to read more about Dr. Raskin’s research group.