The SOI Industry Consortium has a major role to play promoting the power-saving benefits of SOI.
The SOI Industry Consortium has now launched the “SOI: Simply Greener” campaign. Over the next few months, we’ll be reaching out to the industry and the press with this message. But for our members, “green” is much more than a slogan: it’s embedded in their core values.
Last year’s joint survey with the GSA, the “SOI technology: Semiconductor perception & awareness study”, indicated that almost half of the design community sees power savings as the single most important advantage of using SOI. Read More
This summer, the SOI Industry Consortium launched the “SOI Simply Greener” initiative, encouraging the electronics industry to adopt a broader application of SOI’s energy saving benefits.
Results from two studies offered by consortium members demonstrate both increased performance and reduced power consumption – the magnitude of the benefit applied to each is the designer’s choice.
Whether designers put the emphasis on increasing or maintaining performance, significant power savings (as well as area savings) were realized with a move to SOI.
The Consortium’s SOI: Simply Greener logo is freely available on the website. Members and supporters are encouraged to download it for use in their own presentations.
In support of the press announcement launching the initiative, the Consortium offered citations from industry leaders. A few follow here – you can read all of them on the SOI Consortium website.
“As we detailed in our recent report Semiconductor Technologies: The Potential to Revolutionize U.S. Energy Productivity, semiconductors already are the leading factor behind energy efficiency gains. SOI offers a major advance in the power efficiency of electronics, and with appropriate public policy, investment and usage these semiconductor technology gains can contribute to cumulative net electricity bill savings of $800 billion through 2030 for consumers and businesses in the United States alone, as well as creating an average of 500,000 new jobs per year and reducing energy-related CO2 emissions by more than 400 million metric tons annually over the period 2010 through 2030.”
John A. “Skip” Laitner, lead report author and Director, Economic and Social Analysis, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)
“UMC has been incorporating the benefits of SOI technology across multiple semiconductor applications such as MEMS, photonics, and our 65nm high-speed process portfolio. The energy efficiency of SOI adds to the attractiveness of the technology and conforms with UMC’s green initiative to provide environmentally friendly processes for our customers. We look forward to further developing SOI to provide customers with solutions that enable more innovative applications for a better and greener planet.”
W.Y. Chen, Senior Vice President, UMC
“The ‘SOI: Simply Greener’ initiative expresses the motivation and values that connect members of the SOI Consortium and foster collaboration around this energy-efficient technology. We welcome like-minded companies to join us in this meaningful work, to bring needed improvements to our industry and quality of life. The ecosystem is ready and accessible, and there is a broad space of opportunities for innovation in all areas: process; planar and 3D device architecture and optimization; digital, analog, RF, and MEMS design; EDA; IP development and optimization; heterogeneous planar and 3D integration; and services.”
Horacio Mendez, Executive Director, SOI Consortium.
“As a leader in low power design, Cadence continues to invest heavily in new technologies and methodologies to provide maximum power efficiency, now a key consideration for all designs. We are pleased to announce our end-to-end support for the SOI process within the Cadence Low Power Design Solution, thereby offering customers an integrated and low-risk path to maximizing the potential SOI benefits on their green designs.”
Dr. Chi-Ping Hsu, Senior Vice President, R&D Implementation Group, Cadence
How IBM’s Cu-45HP ASIC leverages SOI for an overall lowering of power.
Initiatives for a smarter and greener planet are creating ubiquitous demand for higher intelligence, integration and performance at the lowest possible power. New regulations, such as Energy Star, are being contemplated for many industries.
Application and system requirements are prompting a dramatic shift in customer priorities. Power has become a prominent consideration in design of electronic components and systems. Read More
SOI helps create faster chips that consume less power.
Speed and area used to be the primary factors considered by chip designers. Performance requirements were established, and the power consumption required to achieve them was just another detail. In recent years, chip designers hit a wall. And sustainability moved to the forefront of industry.
Achieving higher chip speeds demanded increased power, but chips ran too hot for conventional cooling methods and drew exorbitant amounts of energy. An advanced technology known as SOI now makes new levels of chip performance and efficiency possible. SOI allows chip designers to create faster chips that are “greener” by using less power. Read More
Analog Devices’ proprietary XF3 SOI SiGe complementary bipolar process enables them to address the trends toward reduced component cost, board area and power consumption — all while delivering unparalleled performance.
–Advanced Substrate News: The XF3 process is used for what sorts of products?
David Kress: The XF3 process is used to build extremely fast linear products, such as specialized RF parts — splitters, logarithmic amplifiers, modulator/demodulators. ADI uses it for very high-speed comparators for automatic test equipment (ATE) and high-speed amplifiers, as well as for building high-speed clock generators.
ASN: What is the role and how important is the use of SOI in decreasing power consumption?
DK: Reducing power consumption is a secondary consideration in choosing XF3 for ADI components. The primary consideration is that it provides the fastest available performance. Many of ADI’s XF3 products are actually toward the higher end of power consumption because high power is needed to get the necessary speed or other capability.
ASN: For a product design engineer, what are the advantages of using an SOI-based chip?
DK: There are two key aspects of SOI — low parasitic capacitance and low leakage currents. The low parasitic capacitance allows ADI to achieve the very high speeds, which is the most important factor. Low leakage currents allow the parts to run at higher power and potentially at higher temperatures, although that is not often a requirement. SOI processes also remove most causes of circuit latch-up, which simplifies circuit design and improves reliability.
ASN: Moving forward, will there be more products or processes leveraging SOI?
DK: Electronic equipment designs are always looking for faster and faster components. This drives ADI to continue to develop products with our high-speed processes, including those based on SOI. It also drives us to develop ever-faster processes, and SOI will continue to play a part in those developments.
This spring, the EDN magazine Innovation of the Year in Passive Components and Sensors was awarded to ADI’s SOI-MEMS based ADXL001 Industrial Vibration Sensor.
The ADXL001 is a high-bandwidth iMEMS® vibration sensor that enables better monitoring of equipment performance and reduced downtime due to unforeseen system failures on the factory floor.
The ADXL001 is built using the Analog Devices SOI MEMS sensor process. The sensor device is micromachined in-plane in the SOI device layer. Trench isolation is used to electrically isolate, but mechanically couple, the differential sensing elements. Single-crystal silicon springs suspend the structure over the handle wafer and provide resistance against acceleration forces.
According to ADI, the ADXL001 is a major advance over previous generations of accelerometers providing high performance and wide bandwidth. The part is ideal for industrial, medical, and military applications where wide bandwidth, small size, low power, and robust performance are essential. It is small enough to be easily designed into the motor control circuitry or mounted on existing factory equipment at the point-of-measurement interest.
National Semiconductor is building products such as single, dual and quad operational amplifiers on its proprietary VIP50 SOI BiCMOS process technology.
As Greg Cestra, senior engineering manager with National Semiconductor’s Advanced Process and Technology Division told ASN, “Transistor elements in several of National Semiconductor’s advanced processes are implemented on an SOI wafer with trench isolation. This minimizes parasitic capacitances and greatly improves bandwidth-to-power ratios. The advanced isolation process allows transistors to condition signal voltages beyond the supply rails. SOI also eliminates the effects of leakage currents that limit performance at the extremely high temperatures used in a number of industrial and automotive applications.
ARM now offers a combination of low-power processors, SOI libraries and power management IP.
It is often the simple actions that make the largest impact when it comes to conserving our natural resources and limiting the negative impact of human interaction on our planet. Conserving our natural and manufactured energy resources is certainly at the top of everyone’s mind.
Now, SoC designers, utilizing the inherent power efficiencies of SOI technology, can make a difference. Read More