Industry Buzz

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.


RDA Microelectronics has begun volume shipments of its RDALN16 GPS LNA for use in Samsung’s 3G handsets deployed in Europe and emerging markets worldwide, such as South America. Developed on SOI, RDA’s GPS LNA is a high gain, low noise, small size amplifier ideally suited for GPS, Galileo and GLONASS applications in 2G and 3G handsets.

Posted March 18, 2013   -   Share this Buzz

SkyWorksSOIAntennaSwitchWLCSP_1lowresSkyworks announced that its industry-leading Silicon-on-insulator (SOI) switching technology is now being used by European, Japanese, Korean and North American car manufacturers for advanced infotainment systems. Specifically, Skyworks’ solid state technology is enabling seamless low noise and broadband switching between audio, Blu-ray/DVD, navigation, cell phone and vehicle security display inputs as well as a variety of other high bandwidth media sources in automobiles. For Tier-1 smartphone providers, Skyworks is also sampling the SKY13396-397LF, a state-of-the-art, CMOS SOI, double-pole, double-throw (DPDT) switch that provides high linearity performance, low insertion loss and high isolation, well suited for driving today’s antenna diversity solutions.

Posted March 14, 2013   -   Share this Buzz

Following investigations and simulations, GSS has declared, “Metal-gate-first FD-SOI will be very good but metal-gate-last could be spectacular.” “…the technologist who that could develop and deliver metal-gate-last FD-SOI at 28nm will be able to offer you supply voltage below 0.5V,” they explained. They also noted, “The statistical variability introduced by the random discrete dopants in the FD-SOI MOSFETs is significantly lower compared to bulk MOSFETs with equivalent dimensions.”

Posted March 14, 2013   -   Share this Buzz

ST CrollesSTMicroeletronics announced its 28nm FD-SOI Technology is ready for manufacturing in its leading-edge Crolles fab.  At the SOI Consortium FD Symposium,  ST presented silicon-verified process technology that delivers 30% higher speed and up to 50% improvement in power.  ST’s FD-SOI Technology Platform encompasses the availability of a feature-complete and silicon-verified Design Platform, including the full set of foundation libraries (std-cells, memory generators, I/Os), AMS IPs and high speed interfaces), and a design flow ideally suited for developing high-speed and energy-efficient devices. ST has found porting Libraries and Physical IPs from 28nm Bulk CMOS to 28nm FD-SOI to be straightforward, and the process of designing digital SoCs with conventional CAD tools and methods in FD-SOI to be identical to Bulk.  In a separate announcement on corporate strategy, the company re-affirmed its commitment to FD-SOI technology.

Posted December 12, 2012   -   Share this Buzz

Following its much heralded debut at the ADA last year, Debiotech has introduced, for the first time worldwide, its SOI-MEMS-based JewelPUMP platform for Diabetes Therapy at the prestigious EASD 2012 conference in Berlin, Germany. The MEMS device was co-designed and is manufactured by STMicroelectronics. Debiotech, which also presented the results of a successful 2-year intensive study on 35 patients, is now in the stages of final development.

Posted December 12, 2012   -   Share this Buzz
ST FDSOI team

(from left to right) Stéphane Monfray and Frédéric Bœuf (ST), and Claire Fenouillet-Béranger and Olivier Faynot (Leti) are the recipients of the 2012 Général Ferrié Award, the highest award in electronics R&D in France, for their work on FD-SOI.

For their work on FD-SOI, four researchers from STMicroelectronics and Leti have received the 2012 Général Ferrié Award, considered the highest award in electronics R&D in France.  Claire Fenouillet-Béranger and Olivier Faynot from Leti, and Stéphane Monfray and Frédéric Bœuf from ST are credited with validating the technological choice for FD-SOI, while also enabling its industrialization.  They identified three key FD-SOI advantages:

- the production process is very close to bulk
- porting circuits from bulk to FD-SOI technology is significantly easier than porting to FinFETs
- the technology is very attractive for mobile applications such as smartphones and tablets, which simultaneously require high performance and low power consumption.

Posted December 10, 2012   -   Share this Buzz

Following the recent news that Soitec has more than doubled production of bonded silicon-on-sapphire (BSOS) substrates (a flavor of SOI) to meet increased demand from its strategic partner, Peregrine Semiconductor, MagnaChip has expanded production of Peregrine’s STeP5 UltraCMOS® technology-based RFIC product line. Peregrine and MagnaChip announced the final qualification and high-volume production ramp of the “STeP5” UltraCMOS process in Q3’11. Due to the continued increase in orders for the STeP5 products (found in the Apple iPhone 5 and other top smart phones), MagnaChip fulfilled the fastest manufacturing ramp in Peregrine’s history.

Posted December 10, 2012   -   Share this Buzz

A spokesperson for the newly-named Novati Technologies fab in Austin, TX says that in addition to silicon, they will be supporting various substrates including: SOI, quartz, glass, etc. The facility, which was formerly owned by SVTC, was recently acquired by 3D-IC specialists Tezzaron Semiconductor.

Posted December 10, 2012   -   Share this Buzz
Strained silicon nanowires

(Graphics: Paul Scherrer Institut/ R. Minamisawa)

Starting on SOI, the Paul Scherrer Institute reports in Nature that they have achieved strained silicon nanowires with the highest strain ever (4.5% elastic strain).

The principle of the method used for achieving a high stress in silicon: Firstly, the forces act in all directions in the silicon layer. If small parts of the layer are then etched away to create a thin wire, the forces act along the wires so that a high stress is created within them.

Posted December 4, 2012   -   Share this Buzz

TowerjazzThe CEO of TowerJazz recently told analysts that in 2012, the company saw “a large amount of SOI design activity”, which he says will fuel revenue growth in 2013. Smart phone antenna switches that handle 8 to 14 different bands are moving from gallium arsenide to SOI, he explained.

Posted December 4, 2012   -   Share this Buzz

NIST Nanophotonic Motion SensorTaking a new approach to SOI-MEMS, researchers from the NIST Center for Nanoscale Science and Technology have developed a nanophotonic motion sensor.  Enabled by cavity optomechanics, it can measure the mechanical motion between two nanofabricated structures with a precision close to the fundamental limit imposed by quantum mechanics. Fabricated on a silicon chip at low cost, the device provides a model for dramatically improving MEMS-based sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes, and cantilevers for atomic force microscopy.

Posted December 4, 2012   -   Share this Buzz

Wii U console blackAs noted in ASN last year, the multi-core CPU in Nintendo’s new Wii U, which hit the shelves in November 2012, is fabbed by IBM on 45nm SOI.

Posted December 4, 2012   -   Share this Buzz

IBM SEM image of carbon nanotubes deposited on a trench coated in hafnium oxide (HfO2) showing extremely high density and excellent selectivity (scale bar: 2 μm). Credit: IBM.

For the first time, more than ten thousand working transistors made of nano-sized tubes of carbon have been precisely placed and tested in a single chip using standard semiconductor processes, reports IBM Research.  The scientists have fabricated trenches made of hafnium oxide onto SOI wafers, which allows the self-assembly by the carbon nanotubes into neat rows rather than a spaghetti-like tangle.

Posted November 9, 2012   -   Share this Buzz

Cadence announced the tapeout of a 14nm test-chip featuring an ARM Cortex®-M0 processor implemented using IBM’s SOI FinFET process technology. Leveraging Cadence tools and SOI’s built-in di-electric isolation for the ARM processor, SRAM memory and other blocks, a goal of the test-chip is to validate characterization data for FinFET-based ARM Artisan® physical IP.

Posted November 9, 2012   -   Share this Buzz

Soitec - Peregrine SemiSoitec has more than doubled production of bonded silicon-on-sapphire (BSOS) substrates (a flavor of SOI) to meet increased demand from its strategic partner, Peregrine. This has enabled Peregrine to  reach production of more than two million units a day of its latest-generation STeP5 UltraCMOS® technology-based RF switches, found in the Apple iPhone 5 and other top smart phones, making Peregrine this market’s leader.

Posted November 9, 2012   -   Share this Buzz