Wondering what’s new, what’s hot and what’s next in the SOI and advanced substrate world? Check
out our Industry Buzz – now featuring regular updates.
Sony’s 28nm FD-SOI GPS rolling out in the Xiaomi Amazfit smartwatch is “…a big win for Sony” and “…an even bigger win for FD-SOI’s promoters,” said Junko Yoshida of EETimes (see Sony-Inside Huami Watch: Is It Time for FD-SOI?). Then she adds:“Huami’s watch decidedly demonstrates the technology’s claim to ultra-low power consumption.”
Xiaomi is a subsidiary of Huami, which lays claim to being the second largest manufacturer of wearables in the world. So it really is a big win. What’s more, the Amazfit, says Xiaomi, is “…the world’s first smartwatch with a 28 nm GPS sensor”.
Sony has been releasing evolving details of the chip at various conferences over the last few years (including SOI Consortium forums). To get their ISSCC paper, 26.5 A 0.7V 1.5-to-2.3mW GNSS receiver with 2.5-to-3.8dB NF in 28nm FD-SOI (February 2016) from IEEE Xplore – click here.
(Image courtesy xiaomi-mi.com)Posted October 26, 2016 - Share this Buzz
With back bias,12nm FD-SOI beats 10nm FinFET on performance. This excellent news comes in by way of Peter Clarke of EETimes Europe (read the whole article here). Rutger Wijburg, GM of GloFo’s Dresden fab told him, “If you look at performance with back-bias 22FDX is the same or better than 16/14nm FinFET process. With 12FDX with back bias you get better than 10nm FinFET processes.”Posted September 15, 2016 - Share this Buzz
Samsung is adding two embedded NVM (non-volatile memory) options to its 28nm FD-SOI line-up, Kelvin Low told EETimes‘ Peter Clark in a recent interview (read the whole piece here).
Low, who heads up marketing and bizdev for Samsung Foundry, indicated the following roll-out for 28nm FD-SOI:
- eFlash – risk production by the end of 2017; volume in 2018
- eMRAM (SST-MRAM) – risk production by the end of 2018; volume in 2019
Posted August 15, 2016 - Share this Buzz
FD-SOI is the default choice for digital in ST’s automotive and discrete group (ADG), Marco Monti, EVP of the business unit told EETimes’ Peter Clarke in a recent article (read it here). The next generation of ST’s most advanced microcontrollers (currently on 40nm bulk) will be on 28nm FD-SOI, he said. Monti also gave examples of other FD-SOI automotive chips ST is doing for partners, including chips for WiFi, satellite radio, telematics, entertainment and ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems). “FD-SOI is not just a manufacturing node for us. It’s a whole cluster of technologies for all things in the car,” Monti told Clarke.Posted May 31, 2016 - Share this Buzz
“We intend to focus all new engagements in design using 28nm FD-SOI,” Samsung Semi’s Kelvin Low told SemiEngineering’s Mark Lapedus in a recent article (read it here).
Low, who’s senior directory of the company’s foundry marketing says they’ll of course continue to support existing 28nm bulk customers, “But we think FD-SOI has enough benefits to attract new customers and designers.”
Posted May 27, 2016 - Share this Buzz
FD-SOI will be featured in the upcoming Symposia on VLSI Technology & Circuits (Honolulu, Hawaii from June 13-17, 2016 – click here for more info). The theme of the conference is “Inflections for a Smart Society,” and luminaries from throughout the SOI ecosystem will be featured in presentations, short courses and panel discussions.
A short course entitle “Circuit Design in FinFET, FDSOI & Advanced Memory Technologies” includes talks by Borivoje Nikolić of UC Berkely on SRAM and digital logic in UTBB FD-SOI, and by Andreia Cathelin of ST on FD-SOI Technology, Advantages for Analog/RF and Mixed-Signal Designs.
Leti and ST will be giving a featured paper (T17.3) on CoolCube™, a full 3D VLSI CMOS-over-CMOS integration on 300mm wafers, with the top level CMOS devices fabricated using low temperature (less than 650°C) processes, compatible with state-of-the-art high performance FD-SOI devices.
Posted May 11, 2016 - Share this Buzz
From RF-SOI pioneer Peregrine Semi comes a steady stream of new chips and design wins.
- Two UltraCMOS® MPAC–Doherty products—the PE46130 and PE46140 (press release here). These monolithic phase and amplitude controllers (MPAC) join the PE46120 in offering maximum phase-tuning flexibility for Doherty power amplifier (PA) optimization. Designed for the LTE and LTE-A wireless-infrastructure transceiver market, the MPAC–Doherty product family now extends from 1.8 to 3.8 GHz with three separate, pin-compatible parts.
- Design wins: Psemi’s high-linearity RF switches are designed into multiple DOCSIS 3.1 certified cable modems (press release here). CableLabs, the research and development consortium that develops the DOCSIS specification, has certified the first DOCSIS 3.1 cable modems. Of the certified modems, Peregrine Semiconductor’s RF switches—the UltraCMOS® PE42722 and PE42723—are designed into the cable modems that feature a band-select feature. The PE42722 and PE42723 are the only RF switches that enable dual upstream/downstream bands to reside in the same consumer premise equipment (CPE) device.
Psemi was honored with a 2015 Electronic Products “Product of the Year” award for its UltraCMOS® PE42020 True DC RF switch, the industry’s first and only RF integrated switch to operate from DC (0 Hz) to 8 GHz. (Press release here.)
- Psemi RF engineer Tero Ranta recently wrote a chapter summarizing the technical details behind how you use SOI CMOS for impedance tuning for the book “Tunable RF Components and Circuits—Applications in Mobile Handsets.” In an interview for Psemi’s SOI University, he said, “…the main point is that you can improve the performance of mobile devices by using tuning. And you can do it by using SOI technology, which is what we use at Peregrine.” He adds, “… there are many other places in the 4G and 5G smartphone RF front-ends that will require tuning going forward to optimize system performance.”
Posted April 29, 2016 - Share this Buzz
Registration is open for GlobalFoundries’ technical webinar, “How to Implement an ARM Cortex-A17 Processor in 22FDX 22nm FD-SOI Technology” (click here to go to the registration page). The webinar will cover the optimal steps to successfully implement ARM® Cortex®-A Series* processors using 22FDXTM 22nm FD-SOI technology.
GF Design Enablement Fellow Dr. Joerg Winkler will address:
- Differentiated features of 22FDX including body-bias
- Digital implementation flow using the Cadence tool suite
- Initial 22FDX power-performance-area (PPA) results of an ARM Cortex sub-module
- Understanding implementation details and results
This webinar will take place April 26, 2016 at10:00 am Pacific Time.
BTW, GF’s already done quite a few 22FDX-related webinars and videos – click here to see the current list.
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* Per ARM, “Cortex-A processors are specifically designed to execute complex functions and applications such as those required by consumer devices like smartphones and tablets. Their performance efficiency is also making them an increasingly popular choice for servers and enterprise applications where large core clusters can be combined for optimal solutions.”Posted April 25, 2016 - Share this Buzz
GlobalFoundries recently announced availability of a new set of RF-SOI PDKs for the company’s 7SW SOI technology. GF, which has now delivered more than 20 billion RF-SOI chips for the world’s smartphones, tablets and more, notes that its 7SW SOI technology is optimized for multi-band RF switching in next-generation smartphones. It is also poised to drive innovation in IoT applications.
The new PDKs feature an interoperable co-design flow to help chip designers improve design efficiency and deliver differentiated RF-SOI front-end solutions in increasingly sophisticated mobile devices. (See press release here.) The new PDKs are designed to use with Keysight Technologies’ (formerly Agilent) Advanced Design System (ADS) EDA software, so designers can edit their designs in ADS using a single Si2 OpenAccess database without any interference.
“Our 7SW platform, with superior LNA, switch devices, and trap-rich substrates, offer improved devices reception, interference rejection, and battery life for fewer dropped calls and longer talk time,” said Peter Rabbeni, senior director of RF product marketing and business development at GlobalFoundries. “Our RF-SOI technology has gained significant industry traction for cellular front-end module applications, and the new RFIC interoperability feature will allow us to provide our 7SW customers additional design flexibility with a single PDK.”Posted April 7, 2016 - Share this Buzz
Three of the world’s More-than-Moore and SOI technology development powerhouses have signed a comprehensive agreement for ongoing collaboration and cooperation in developing new technologies for the emerging IoT market. SITRI of Shanghai, and CEA-Leti and Minatec of Grenoble will work together to accelerate the adoption of their latest technologies and create a global innovation ecosystem for emerging IoT applications (read the press release here).
The framework agreement broadly covers all joint areas of research at SITRI and Leti, including MEMS and sensors, 5G RF front ends, ultra-low power computing and communication, RF-SOI and FD-SOI.
In fact, the trio cites SOI as a key technology in the development of both Moore’s Law and “More than Moore” solutions for the IC industry, as it brings cost, performance, power and integration advantages to the areas of ICs, RF, MEMS, and communications.
“We are confident that this collaboration will be positive for China’s electronics industry, as well as for the Grenoble region’s growing SOI technology ecosystem,” said MINATEC Director Jean-Charles Guibert.
Adds Marie-Noëlle Semeria, CEO of Leti, “Through this partnership, SITRI, MINATEC, CEA-Leti and the entire ecosystem will be able to promote and extend this ecosystem to SOI partners worldwide, and provide SOI solutions to the emerging Chinese IoT market.”
“MINATEC is a world-class international innovation center that fosters a wide range of leading-edge IoT technology research and development which is home to CEA-Leti, the renowned international research institute in microelectronics,” said Charles Yang, President of SITRI. “Through this agreement and SITRI’s established platform for ‘More than Moore’ commercialization, we can accelerate the adoption of these latest technologies and create a global innovation ecosystem for emerging IoT applications.”Posted April 5, 2016 - Share this Buzz
Coupling Wave Solutions (CWS) has a new productivity tool called SiPEX, which enables RF-SOI designers to increase the number of design iterations—including Spice simulation—up to 10 times in the same time frame.
“With SiPEX, RF switch designers will be able to make their design changes in less than 15 minutes and obtain a few decibels (dB) of variation over silicon measurements in simulation. This is a dramatic improvement over current productivity levels,” said Brieuc Turluche, CEO of CWS.
“State-of-the-art RF front-end components require advanced design methodologies and tools. SiPEX helped us improve our productivity and close the gap between simulation and silicon measurements when optimizing the linearity of our chips,” said Greg Caltabiano, CEO of ACCO, a fabless semiconductor company developing innovative highly integrated semiconductor solutions for IoT and smart phone RF Front Ends.
With SiPEX, RF designers can either evaluate more design implementations in any given time frame, or accelerate the tape out to the RF-SOI foundry, shortening the time-to-market. SiPEX provides field solver-like accuracy. In addition, an RF-SOI foundry can back-annotate the silicon measurements in their PDK and ensure that Spice simulation with SiPEX will match the actual silicon measurements.
SiPEX is available as a plug-in for generic interconnect parasitic extraction tools including Mentor Graphic’s Calibre®.Posted March 31, 2016 - Share this Buzz
Don’t forget to get your paper submitted to the top conference with a major focus on the SOI ecosystem: the IEEE S3S (SOI/3D/SubVt). The Call For Papers (CFP) deadline is April 15, 2016. As we noted for you in ASN back in December, the theme of the conference, which will take place October 10th – 13th in San Francisco, is “Energy Efficient Technology for the Internet of Things”.
As of this writing, the following keynote speakers have been confirmed:
- Ron Martino, NXP : “Advanced Innovation and Requirements for Future Smart, Secure and Connected Applications”
- Peter Gammel, Skyworks : “RF front end requirements and roadmaps for the IoT”
- Nick Yu, Qualcomm : topic TBA
Invited speakers include:
- Jamie Schaffer, GlobalFoundries : topic TBA
- Philippe Flatresse, ST Microelectronics : “Body bias and FDSOI for Automotive”
- Akram Salman, Texas Instruments : “ESD for advanced digital and analog technologies”
- Xavier Garros, CEA-Leti : “Reliability of FDSOI”
As always, there will be a Best Paper Award and a Best Student Paper Award. But students take note: the recipient of the Best Student Paper will also receive $1000 from Qualcomm.
Papers related to technology, devices, circuits and applications (more details here) in the following areas are requested :
For current information on the conference visit the S3S website at: http://s3sconference.org/
LinkedIn users will also want to join the conference group at IEEE SOI-3D-Subthreshold Microelectronics Technology (S3S) Unified Conference.Posted March 23, 2016 - Share this Buzz
EDI CON China 2016, taking place April 19-21 in Beijing at the China National Convention Center (CNCC) will feature a keynote talk by GlobalFoundries‘ Peter Rabbeni, Sr. Director, RF BU Business Development & Product Marketing. The talk, entitled, “RF SOI: Revolutionizing Radio Design Today and Driving Innovation for Tomorrow”, will kick off the newly added RF-SOI Technology Track. The SOI Track will also feature talks and workshops from Peregrine Semiconductor, TowerJazz, Simgui, AnalogSmith and Shanghai Jiao Tong University. The talks will cover substrate engineering, design enablement, CMOS power amplifier design techniques and highly integrated control devices.
Mr. Rabbeni’s keynote talk will cover how there has been dramatic growth in RF SOI over the last several years in its continued march in driving performance improvement, cost reduction and architecture innovation between the transceiver and the antenna in mobile radios. No other radio technology in recent memory has had the impact that RF SOI has had in this respect. With standards becoming increasingly more challenging and the pending introduction of 5G, RF SOI is expected to continue to play an important role in the development of innovative architectures. His presentation will explore where we have been, why and where we may be headed with this technology. Substrate engineering and SOI device technology is reviewed in detail in Microwave Journal’s October 2015 cover story at http://www.microwavejournal.com/articles/25255.
More information is available at www.ediconchina.com.Posted March 18, 2016 - Share this Buzz
RF-SOI pioneer Peregrine Semiconductor has announced the UltraCMOS® PE4314, a 75-ohm glitch-less RF digital step attenuator (DSA). This new DSA extends Peregrine’s existing glitch-less DSA portfolio to 75 ohms. The PE4314 is ideal for wired broadband applications in cable/satellite customer premises equipment (CPE) and infrastructure equipment.
“As the founders of RF-SOI, Peregrine is recognized as a performance leader in RF products,” says Kinana Hussain, director of marketing at Peregrine Semiconductor. “Our products offer best-in-class performance and proven quality and reliability. The PE4314 is a testament to staying true to this philosophy. Peregrine introduced the world’s first single-chip DSA in 2004, and we are now expanding our DSA portfolio to include this 75-ohm solution to solve one of our customers’ biggest challenges—attenuation state transition glitches.”Posted February 12, 2016 - Share this Buzz
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 802.11.ac (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.
*UCL is the Université catholique de Louvain in Belgium. Click here to read more about Dr. Raskin’s research group.Posted February 8, 2016 - Share this Buzz