Semiconductor technologies designed to meet growing mobile challenges

Learn how IBM Microelectronics silicon enables mobile communications, from mobile devices to the network infrastructure, data centers and Cloud.




We live in a digital world that moves at hyper speed, where almost any kind of information is available to search or send – instantly.

IBM’s innovative specialty foundry technologies are optimized to handle the complexity of the myriad of standards, frequencies and functions that modern mobile devices like smartphones and tablets must accommodate, across broader geographies than ever before.

These silicon-based technologies offer mobile device manufacturers and component designers the advanced performance and flexibility they need to take advantage of the opportunities calling in a mobile world.


IBM radio frequency silicon-on-insulator (RF SOI) technology is designed to help mobile devices tune to and retain cellular signals with lower insertion loss (higher sensitivity), even from the fringes of cell tower coverage areas – giving customers access to consistently strong, clear connections from more places.


Mobile devices with cellular switches built on radio frequency silicon-on-insulator (RF SOI) technology from IBM can more effectively weed out interference and lock into the right signal because of the technology’s exceptional linearity and low insertion loss – so customers can count on more uninterrupted calls and dependable connections.


Mobile devices that exploit IBM radio frequency silicon-on-insulator (RF SOI) and silicon germanium (SiGe) technologies for switches and power amplifiers benefit from improved linearity, which translates to a higher carrier-to-noise ratio for faster cellular and Wi-Fi download speeds.


IBM radio frequency silicon-on-insulator (RF SOI) and silicon germanium (SiGe) technologies enable designers to integrate multiple RF components onto a single chip, bringing the flexibility and integration potential of digital solutions to high-performance analog.

This integration potential enables fewer chips and smaller footprints for cellular and Wi-Fi applications – resulting in sleeker mobile gadgets designed with the advanced features customers expect, built using components that take advantage of a cost-efficient silicon base.


Radio frequency (RF) switches built on IBM’s RF silicon-on-insulator (RF SOI) technology have the flexibility and performance needed to handle the complexity of operating across multiple over-air standards and frequency bands.

So mobile devices built with IBM SOI-based RF switches can seamlessly connect, switch and route RF signals – from more places and over multiple frequencies – for reliable access and a better customer experience.


IBM’s radio frequency silicon-on-insulator (RF SOI) technology features a low loss substrate designed to improve linearity and insertion loss – so that mobile devices with cellular switches built on IBM RF SOI spend less energy amplifying and processing signals, for longer battery life in both talk and standby modes.




Big Data isn’t just big – it’s also unstructured and unpredictable, creating new challenges in getting surging data traffic across the communications network and to and from mobile devices at speeds customers expect.

For over a decade, innovative IBM technologies, like silicon-on-insulator (SOI), have helped top network hardware suppliers stay ahead of diverse, dynamic network demands.

IBM’s deep experience in both wired and wireless networking silicon is now helping network equipment providers exploit network-optimized semiconductors in the smarter, more flexible hardware fueling network transformation – hardware proactively designed to handle the challenges of Big Data.


IBM delivers innovative silicon technologies designed to stay ahead of coverage and scalability requirements in evolving wireless access network hardware. Custom logic from IBM has been in the forefront of wireless infrastructure evolution and continues to feature a suite of performance-optimized silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology building blocks, designed to optimize performance, power and density across the changing macro and small cell base-station landscape. IBM silicon germanium (SiGe) and radio frequency SOI (RF SOI) foundry offerings are designed to deliver low noise, high linearity and more integration for the radio subsystems.

For network equipment manufacturers and service providers, these technologies can enable the fast evolving demand for more flexibility in delivering seamless, cost efficient, wide-ranging coverage.


High-performance, highly integrated technologies from IBM, including silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and advanced memory options from our custom logic portfolio, and cost-efficient silicon germanium (SiGe) technologies, are tuned to handle high-bandwidth, low-latency data transmission – supporting efficient copper, optical, microwave and millimeter wave backhaul transport modes that alleviate data bottlenecks – and enable flexible, smarter networks.


Advanced embedded DRAM, embedded ternary content-addressable memory (TCAM), algorithmic multiport memories and industry-leading high speed serializer/deserializer (HSS) technology from IBM enable faster packet processing to speed data transmission across networks and into the Cloud – for lower power consumption and higher performance that keeps pace with evolving network standards and challenges.


IBM silicon-on-insulator (SOI), embedded DRAM and embedded ternary content-addressable memory (TCAM) technologies can provide dramatically better system performance, more on-chip memory and faster access times by leveraging the same revolutionary semiconductor technology base that powers the IBM Watson computer – allowing service providers to process an enormous amount of data in real time, for rapid data storage, access and analysis.


Custom logic technology from IBM is designed to support significantly faster packet processing speeds with chips that also use less power and less area – so that service providers can process more data without increasing their hardware footprint, power usage or associated costs.