5G Is Here. Are You Ready?

Here’s what you need to know about 5G technology, the market, and how Veeco is supporting its development and implementation.

5G Basics

5G stands for the 5th generation of mobile networks. Unlike previous generations, it offers more than incremental improvements over its predecessors. It is designed to be different, using shorter frequencies in the high-band spectrum. This means it can reliably move more data, faster, with fewer delays and better quality. Here’s what that looks like:

  • 5G is 10-100x faster than 4G
  • Latency is reduced to 1 millisecond versus 20 milliseconds with 4G
  • It can support 100x more connected devices than 4G
  • Ultra-low power consumption means devices work longer—for months or even years

Why We Need 5G

More important than its speed is its low latency. Because of this, only 5G can take connectivity beyond mobile phones, bringing it to the internet of things (IOT) and critical communications such as autonomous vehicle navigation, health care, drones, robotics, and industrial applications.

For example, 5G makes it possible for self-driving cars to simultaneously respond and communicate hundreds of reactions to other vehicles and objects 250x faster than human-driven vehicles.

5G Markets

The race is on to roll out 5G across the globe. China, Korea, India, and other Asian nations are in the lead, having invested heavily in infrastructure. While Europe and the U.S. have been delayed, they are actively engaged to implement 5G networks, which rely not only on high-band use, but requires all spectrums and bands to achieve its lightning quick data rates with very low latency for an all-around better user experience. As the 5G infrastructures expands, the volumes of 5G handsets sold are increasing.

Bottom line: Our data-driven world calls for a level of connectivity that can only be delivered through a 5G infrastructure using 5G-enabled devices. Across the board, 5G is transforming communication, and expanding opportunities for new markets, industries, and jobs across the globe.

5G Technology

From networking infrastructure to end-use applications, 5G requirements have transformed device manufacturing. RF filters and power amplifiers must fit in tight spaces, yet perform better and reach higher frequencies into the mmWave range. This calls for changes in substrate materials from silicon to gallium arsenide (GaAs) and Gallium nitride (GaN). Process adjustments are also required, e.g., to accommodate reduction in material resistance, doping to prevent insertion loss, and achieving thinner deposition layers to reach high frequencies.

How Veeco Supports 5G

We understand the process changes needed to build 5G devices, and will work with you in our Process Integration Center to fine-tune your specific needs.

Across the board, our process tools are designed to accommodate ever-changing requirements. We support the full spectrum of 5G device manufacturing, including wet processes, lithography, ion beam etch (IBE), and atomic layer deposition (ALD).

Our process tool solutions deliver run-to-run repeatability for high productivity at a low cost of ownership. They support multiple wafer sizes (6-inch to 300mm), and deliver improved etch quality profile, uniformity, and pin-hole free, ultra-thin passivation layers.

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