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.


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

Based again on 32nm SOI, AMD‘s second generation A-Series Accelerated Processing Units (APUs) (formerly codenamed “Trinity”) for mainstream and ultrathin notebooks, All-in-One and traditional desktops, home theater PCs and embedded designs is now available in retail and distribution channels. The new x86 cores, codenamed “Piledriver,” are an evolution of the revolutionary “Bulldozer” cores with some major performance enhancements, hitting up to 4.2 GHz. But consumer-savvy reviewers also cite the impact of Trinity’s excellent performance-per-watt on battery life.

Posted October 9, 2012   -   Share this Buzz

NXP has named SOI wafer-leader Soitec as this year’s recipient of the “Best Supplier – Valued Partnership” for the company’s SOI solutions. NXP uses Soitec’s wafers in many of its most successful products for high-volume markets including power, automotive and lighting. The two companies have worked together since 1995.

Posted October 9, 2012   -   Share this Buzz

Sand 9 has chosen GlobalFoundries for high-volume manufacturing of their precision SOI-MEMS timing products for wireless and wired applications. As a replacement for traditional quartz, MEMS represent a high-growth opportunity in the multi-billion dollar timing devices market, according to a recent report by Semico Research.

Posted October 9, 2012   -   Share this Buzz
STM STOD13AS

Courtesy: STMicroelectronics

STMicroelectronics predicts its new SOI-based STOD13AS power chip could be used in nearly every new smartphone or small electronic device that has an AMOLED display. ST, which already supplies over 80% of the market for these ultra-thin, vivid displays, says SOI ensures outstanding energy efficiency for longer battery life, and high immunity to noise for consistent, flicker-free operation.

Posted February 3, 2012   -   Share this Buzz
Imec Genalyte SOI wafer

SOI wafer with photonics biosensorchips. (Courtesy: imec)

Imec and Genalyte have successfully developed and produced a set of disposable SOI-photonics biosensor chips for Genalyte‘s diagnostic and molecular detection equipment. Founded by SOI-photonics innovator Dr. Cary Gunn, Genalyte chips contain ring resonator sensors for very sensitive molecular detection; on-chip grating couples infrared light to diagnostic equipment.

Posted January 31, 2012   -   Share this Buzz

SematechThe international Sematech consortium announced that SOI wafer leader Soitec has joined the Front End Processes (FEP) and Advanced Metrology Programs. Soitec will collaborate with SEMATECH’s material and metrology experts and leverage Sematech’s activities in advanced metrology, materials, process technology, and device characterization to extend CMOS and high-mobility FinFET technologies for high-performance, low-power IC applications.

Posted January 27, 2012   -   Share this Buzz