Tag Archive IBM

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Successful RF-SOI 2014 International Symposium Held in Shanghai

A very successful international workshop on RF-SOI was held in Shanghai earlier this fall.  Jointly organized by industry leaders, it brought together world-class players in RF to discuss the opportunities and challenges in rapid development of RF applications.Sponsors included the SOI Industry Consortium, the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) / Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology (SIMIT), Shanghai Industrial μTechnology Research Institute Co.,Ltd. (SITRI) and VeriSilicon.

The first talk, given by Dr. Xi Wang, Academician of CAS and Director General of SIMIT, covered China’s huge market prospects for RF applications. RF-SOI, he noted, is an area in which Shanghai Simgui Technology Co.,Ltd. ,  a spin-off company from SIMIT,  and French SOI wafer manufacturer Soitec are working closely to explore the market opportunities now. He also presented some of the latest research findings and the industry dynamics in this field.

Xi Wang, Academician and Director General of the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology (SIMIT) /Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) giving the first talk at the 2014 International RF-SOI Workshop.

Xi Wang, Academician and Director General of the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology (SIMIT) /Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) giving the first talk at the 2014 International RF-SOI Workshop.

 

Next, Handel Jones, CEO of IBS, gave a detailed analysis of the markets for smart phones and tablet PCs and other mobile consumer applications. These are strong drivers of the huge market opportunity and demand for chips based on RF-SOI technology. (Click here to view his presentation.)

 

(Courtesy: IBS)

(Courtesy: IBS)

This workshop also featured presentations by ST, GlobalFoundries and SMIC, as well as several important RF-SOI platform providers.

Mark Ireland, Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at the IBM Microelectronics Division, noted that that IBM first began offering RF-SOI manufacturing in 2006.  He explained the key role RF-SOI plays in redefining chips for mobile applications, where integration and performance are key. (Click here to view his presentation.)

Laura Formenti, Infrastructure and RF-SOI Business Unit Director at STMicroelectronics, gave a detailed analysis of RF-SOI. She covered the advantages of RF front-end integration and introduced ST’s H9SOI_FEM technology platform. (Click here to view her presentation.)

Paul Colestock, Sr. Director of Segment Marketing at GlobalFoundries shared specifics and the latest developments in the 130nm RF-SOI technology platform, UltraCMOS 10.

 

The room was full at the Shanghai RF-SOI Workshop 2014

The room was full at the Shanghai RF-SOI Workshop 2014

 

Herb Huang, Sr. Director Development, Technology R&D at SMIC, China’s largest foundry, addressed SOI in RF switches. He shared details on SOI NFETs for enhanced performance, and on CMOS MEMS RF filters. SOI CMOS will facilitate integration of switches (SW), power amplifiers (PA), envelope tracking (ET) and antenna tuning (AT) in SoCs. The foundry provides not only device-level processes but also support for high-performance system-in-package (SiP) solutions at the wafer level.

Professor Jean-Pierre Raskin of the Catholic University of Leuven (Belgium) and Bernard Aspar, General Manager of Soitec’s Communication & Power Business Unit presented detailed technical analyses of SOI substrates.  They covered the influence of substrates on RF signal integrity and the key role they play in improving RF performance thanks to the enhanced Signal Integrity (eSI™) High Resistivity SOI substrate.  (Click here to view the UCL presentation, and here to view the Soitec presentation.)

James Young, VP of Engineering, FES Si Platform Engineering at Skyworks focused on RF and wireless semiconductor design. In particular he addressed mobile phone design, including PA, ET and APT (Average Power Tracking). He gave performance comparisons and analysis for SOI/CMOS vs. GaAs devices.  (Click here to view the presentation.)

Dr. Yumin Lu, VP of the Shanghai Industrial μTechnology Research Institute Co.,Ltd. elaborated on how 4G wireless communications brings new challenges for RF front-end modules and components. RF-SOI has become a mainstream technology for antenna/switches. There is also significant potential for RF-SOI to make further inroads in applications such as tunable components (including antennas, PAs, filters/duplexers, etc.). (Click here to view the presentation.)

RFSOI_Shanghai14_RoundtableDiscussion

Roundtable Discussion at the 2014 International RF-SOI Workshop in Shanghai

The final panel discussion session on the “China RF market” started a lively debate. Topics included the specificities and drivers of the China RF market, Chinese foundry capacity, the RF-SOI supply chain, RF front-end module (FEM) system packaging and system integration trends, and LTE and WiFi common platforms on RF-SOI substrates.  Audience members had questions about device design. The need for the industry to establish a broader ecosystem was a common theme.

 ~ ~ ~

Editor’s note: This article was first posted in Chinese at Shanghai Institute of Micro-Technology Industry Views. You can see the original hereMany thanks to Xi Wang, Academician and Director General of the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology (SIMIT) /Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) for his permission to translate/adapt and reprint it here in ASN.

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SOI-3D-SubVt (S3S): three central technologies for tomorrow’s mainstream applications

ST further accelerates its FD-SOI ROs* by 2ps/stage, and reduces SRAM’s VMIN by an extra 70mV. IBM shows an apple-to-apple comparison of 10nm FinFETs on Bulk and SOI. AIST improves the energy efficiency of its FPGA by more than 10X and Nikon shows 2 wafers can be bonded with an overlay accuracy better than 250nm.

We learned all this and much more during the very successful 2014 IEEE S3S Conference.

The conference’s 40th edition (first created as the IEEE SOS technology workshop in 1975) was held in San Francisco Oct. 6-9. Dedicated to central technologies for tomorrow’s mainstream applications, the event boasted nearly 80 papers presented over 3 days covering conception, design, simulation, process and characterization of devices and circuits.

 S3S14banner

 

Many of the talks we heard made it very clear that the Internet-of-Things will be the next big market growth segment. It will be enabled by extremely energy-efficient and low-cost technologies in the field of RF-communications, sensors and both embedded and cloud computing. The program of the conference was very well designed to tackle these topics, starting with the short courses on Energy Efficiency and Monolithic 3D, an RF fundamentals & applications class, a MEMS hot topic session and a strong focus on ultra-low power throughout the SubVt sessions.

(Photo credit: Justin Lloyd)

S3S Conference Poster & reception session. (Photo credit: Justin Lloyd)

 The interest of the participants could be seen through an increase in Short Course and Fundamentals Class participation (+20%) compared to last year.

 The companies working in the field of RF communications and mobile chips were well represented, including attendees and presenters coming from Broadcom, MediaTek, Murata, Newlans, Qualcomm, RFMD, Skyworks and TowerJazz.

 

Sub-Threshold Microelectronics

The SubVT portion of the conference featured an extremely strong suite of papers on advancements in subthreshold circuit design including ultra-low-voltage microprocessors, FPGAs, and analog circuits. Additionally, there were sessions on technologies which enable very low voltage computation, such as radiation testing during subthreshold operation, and efficient energy-harvesting devices to allow indefinite operation of IoT systems. A number of talks explored the future of ultra low voltage computing, presenting results from emerging technologies such as Spin Torque Transfer devices and TFETs.

3D Integration

The 3D integration track keeps growing in the conference and is strongly focused on monolithic 3D. A dedicated full day short course was offered again this year, as well as two joint sessions featuring several papers on process integration, design, precision alignment bonders and more. Progress is being made and a lot of interest in this technology is being generated (See the EE Times article).

Key Fully-Depleted SOI Technical results

Planar Fully-Depleted SOI technologies were well represented again this year, in both SOI and Sub-Vt parallel sessions. A full session was also dedicated to FinFETs.

STMicroelectronics and CEA-Leti gave us a wealth of information on:

  • From "Design Strategy for Energy Efficient SOCs in UTBB FD-SOI Technology" in the S3S '14 "Energy Efficiency" short course by P. Flatresse (Source: STMicroelectronics)

    From “Design Strategy for Energy Efficient SOCs in UTBB FD-SOI Technology” in the S3S ’14 “Energy Efficiency” short course by P. Flatresse (Source: STMicroelectronics)

    How to improve your circuit’s efficiency by co-optimizing Vdd, poly-bias and back-gate voltage simultaneously during the circuit design. Picking the correct optimization vector enables you to gain more than 2X in speed or up to 5X in power compared to the non-optimized circuit. (P. Flatresse, “Design Strategy for Energy Efficient SOCs in UTBB FD-SOI Technology” in the “Energy Efficiency” short course). In the same presentation we saw how going to a single-well configuration can help further reduce SRAM’s VMin by 70mV (see graph to the right).

  •  How to use FMAX tracking to maintain optimal Vdd, VBB values during operation. This shows how you can take advantage of both Vdd and VBB dynamic modulation to maintain your circuit’s best performance when external conditions (e.g. temperature, supply voltage…) vary. (E. Beigné, “FDSOI Circuit Design for a Better Energy Efficiency”).

The latest updates on 14nm technology, including an additional 2ps/stage RO delay reduction since the 2014 VLSI results shown last June. This means ROs running faster than 8ps/stage at 10nA/stage of static leakage. The key elements for the 10nm node (sSOI, thinner BOX, replacement gate, next gen. ID-RSD) where also discussed. (M. Haond, “14nm UTBB FD-SOI Technology”).

In the past year we witnessed the foundry announcements for FD-SOI technology offering. Global Foundries very clearly re-stated their interest in the FD-SOI technology, claiming that 28FD-SOI is a good technology for cost sensitive mobile applications, with the cost of 28LP and the performance of 28HPP. However, GF favors a flavor of FD-SOI technology they call Advanced ET-SOI, with similar performance to 20LPM at a reduced cost.

More than An Order of Magnitude Energy Improvement of

From S3S 2014 Best Paper, “More than An Order of Magnitude Energy Improvement of FPGA by Combining 0.4V Operation and Multi-Vt Optimization of 20k Body Bias Domains” (AIST)

The IEEE S3S Conference Best Paper Award went to Hanpei Koike and co-authors from the National Institute of AIST, for their paper entitled “More than An Order of Magnitude Energy Improvement of FPGA by Combining 0.4V Operation and Multi-Vt Optimization of 20k Body Bias Domains,” presented in the SubVT part of the conference. In this work, an FPGA was fabricated in the AIST SOTB (Si On Thin BOX — which is another name for FD-SOI) process, and demonstrated successful operation down to voltages at and below the minimum energy point of the circuit. A 13x reduction in Power-Delay-Product over conventional 1.2V operation was achieved through a combination of low voltage operation and flexible body-biasing, enabled by the very thin BOX.

On the FinFET side, T.B. Hook (IBM) presented a direct comparison of “SOI FinFET versus Bulk FinFET for 10nm and below”, based on silicon data. This is a very unique work in the sense that both technologies are being developed and optimized by the same teams, in the same fab, with the same ground rules, which enables a real apple-to-apple comparison. SOI comes out a better technology in terms of Fin height control (better performance and ION variability), VT mismatch (lower VMin), output conductance (better analog and low voltage perf.) and reliability. Though external stressors are expected to be more efficient in Bulk FinFETs, mobility measurements are only 10% lower for SOI PFETs and are actually 40% higher for SOI NFETs, because of the absence of doping. The devices’ thermal resistance is higher on SOI, though bulk FinFETs are not as immune to self-heating as planar bulk. Both technologies are still competitive down to the 10nm node, but looking forward, bulk’s advantages will be rendered moot by the introduction of high mobility materials and dimensions shrinking, while SOI advantages will keep getting larger.

Experimental SOI vs. Bulk FinFET comparison showing 50% higher VT variability on bulk (grey dots on top graph) as well as mobility difference (lower graphs).

Experimental SOI vs. Bulk FinFET comparison showing 50% higher VT variability on bulk (grey dots on top graph) as well as mobility difference (lower graphs).

FinFET_SOI_IBM_S3S14_Mobility_1

Join the conference in 2015!

Next year, the S3S Conference will be held October 5-8, at the DoubleTree by Hilton Sonoma Wine Country Hotel, Rohnert Park, California.

The organizing committee is looking forward to seeing you there!

~~~

 

Steven A. Vitale is an Assistant Group Leader in the Quantum Information and Integrated Nanosystems Group at MIT Lincoln Laboratory.  He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from MIT.  Steven’s current research focuses on developing a fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FDSOI) ultra-low-power microelectronics technology for energy-starved systems such as space-based systems and implantable biomedical devices.  Prior to joining MIT-LL, Steven was a member of the Silicon Technology Development group at Texas Instruments where he developed advanced gate etch processes. He has published 26 refereed journal articles and holds 5 patents related to semiconductor processing. From 2011 to 2012 Steven was the General Chair of the IEEE Subthreshold Microelectronics Conference, and is on the Executive Committees of the AVS Plasma Science and Technology Division, the AVS Electronic Materials and Processing Division, and the IEEE S3S Conference.

Frederic Allibert received his MS degree from the National Institute for Applied Sciences (INSA, Lyon, France) in 1997 and his PhD from Grenoble Polytechnic’s Institute (INPG) in 2003, focusing on the electrical characterization of Unibond wafers and the study of advanced device architectures such as planar double-gate and 4-gate transistors.  He was a visiting scientist at KAIST (Taejon, Korea) in 1998 and joined Soitec in 1999.  As an R&D scientist, he implemented SOI-specific electrical measurement techniques (for thin films, multi-layers, high resistivity) and supported the development of products and technologies targeting various applications, including FD-SOI, RF, imagers, and high-mobility materials.  As Soitec’s assignee at the Albany Nanotech Center since 2011, his focus is on substrate technologies for advanced nodes.  He has authored or co-authored over 50 papers and holds over 10 patents.

 

 

*RO = ring oscillator

 

 

ByAdministrator

Is China Interested in FD-SOI? You bet.

At the recent FD-SOI Forum in Shanghai, the IoT (Internet of Things) was the #1 topic in all the presentations.

The event was sponsored by the SOI Consortium, the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem and Information Technology / Chinese Academy of Sciences (SIMIT/CAS), and VeriSilicon. By all accounts it was a great success. Speakers included experts from Synopsys, ST, GF, Soitec, IBS, Synapse Design, VeriSilicon, Wave Semi and IBM (see below for key slides and links to the full presentations). The goal was to gather IC industry decision makers, technology owners, opinion leaders and market analysts to exchange and assess the opportunities that FD-SOI technology brings in terms of ultra-low power operation at high performance for mobile and IoT.

 

A panel discussion during the SOI Consortium's Shanghai FD-SOI Forum brought whole ecosystem onto same stage – a clear sign of FD-SOI becoming mainstream solution. (Courtesy: SOI Consortium)

A panel discussion during the SOI Consortium’s Shanghai FD-SOI Forum brought whole ecosystem onto same stage – a clear sign of FD-SOI becoming mainstream solution. (Courtesy: SOI Consortium)

Here are some of the points made by the speakers:

  • FinFET is a tough (Intel is running 15 months behind) and capex consuming technology (exponential situation in terms of costs), so not everybody will be able to go for it
  • FD-SOI will be a game changer
  • the FD-SOI ecosystem is now ready but industry still seems a bit too conservative to get started
  • FD-SOI is a great opportunity for China to take the lead
  • need a big fabless house with a high-volume application and then foundries building capacity
  • promising outlook: designs are underway; in 6 to 9 months there could be significant volumes. It is no longer a question of why FD-SOI – now we are at when FD-SOI.
  • 28nm will be a long lifetime technology node (2012-2024)
  • IoT: a good opportunity for FD-SOI
  • work is being done by the ecosystem to improve FD-SOI IP
  • FD-SOI is not only for 28nm but also 20/22nm and 14nm (ST discussed its 14nm FD-SOI)
  • the industry acknowledges ST and Soitec’s commitment to developing FD-SOI technology

We know that FD-SOI 28nm has moved into the manufacturing and volume production phase. It offers the chip industry the unique features of being able to fabricate at competitive cost, ultra low power, high speed ICs. It is a game changer technology platform that brings new powerful elements to the designers and a strong differentiation potential at IC and system level. But the speakers acknowledged that challenges remain, in particular that there’s a need for a greater commitment from industry and for very big customers (but that’s going to change).

 

The presentations

Here are brief summaries of the presentations. Click on the presentation names to download the full pdfs, or on the slides for enlarged images.

Market Overview and Opportunities by Handel Jones, CEO, International Business Strategies

Starting from a bird’s-eye view of the world, this presentation then zooms down deep into the nitty-gritty of chip manufacturing costs. Considering the various technology options for current and future nodes, it looks at costs per gate and per wafer, costs for design and for tooling, yield impact and fab life. The world’s largest chip consumer, China currently imports about 90% of the chips used there. The government has targeted 2020 as the year by which Chinese semiconductor companies should be supplying 40% of semiconductors consumed in China. IBS sees FD-SOI as the most astute choice, especially for IoT.

Slide 5 from the IBS presentation at the 2014 Shanghai FD-SOI Forum (Courtesy: IBS)

Slide 5 from the IBS presentation at the 2014 Shanghai FD-SOI Forum (Courtesy: IBS)

 

FD-SOI Technology by Laurent Remont, VP Technology & Product Strategy, STMicroelectronics

This presentation gives an overview of FD-SOI technology, roadmaps and markets. One of the points made is that 28nm will be the longest process generation with the highest volume manufacturing. FD-SOI extends the 28nm offering with improved power and performance rivaling existing 20nm bulk.

Slide 13 from the first ST presentation at the 2014 Shanghai FD-SOI Forum (Courtesy: ST)

Slide 13 from the first ST presentation at the 2014 Shanghai FD-SOI Forum (Courtesy: ST)

 

Design with FD-SOI, Innovation Through Collaboration by Marco Casale-Rossi, Product Marketing Manager, Synopsys

The Synopsys presentation detailed FD-SOI/EDA readiness, with illustrations from an ST design. Among the many impressive results, time-to-good-floorplan was reduced 10x, and leakage was reduced by 59% through advanced EDA in the flow.

Slides 20 and 34 from the Synopsys presentation at the 2014 Shanghai FD-SOI Forum (Courtesy: Synopsys and ST)

Slides 20 and 34 from the Synopsys presentation at the 2014 Shanghai FD-SOI Forum (Courtesy: Synopsys and ST)

 

Designing with FD-SOI for Power Efficiency by Haoran Wang, Associate General Manager, Synapse Design China

Synapse Design is an industry leader in design services for most top tier semiconductor and system companies around the world. They have been working on designs in FD-SOI for over four years. In fact, they’ve already had four tapeouts in FD-SOI and are working on three others. The presentation noted that “…FD-SOI has more degrees of freedom than bulk” conferred by device physics. They recommend starting with a deep power analysis at RTL, looking carefully at performance requirements vs. battery life. They conclude, “At 28nm, FDSOI does show the benefits of speed/power advantage. It is a viable solution from technology point of view and easy to be integrated in current design flow.”

 

Slide 2 from the Synapse Design presentation at the 2014 Shanghai FD-SOI Forum (Courtesy: Synapse Design)

Slide 2 from the Synapse Design presentation at the 2014 Shanghai FD-SOI Forum (Courtesy: Synapse Design)

 

Leveraging FD-SOI to Achieve Both Low Power AND High Speed by Pete Fowley, CEO, Wave Semiconductors

Wave is a fabless semiconductor startup “commercializing a programmable solution addressing power, concurrency, design time, design cost, and deep submicron challenges facing the semiconductor market.” The founders come from a veritable who’s who industry background* (the CEO was one of the first members of Apple’s original Mac chip design team). They bill their FD-SOI based Wave Threshold Logic (WTL) as their “secret sauce”. WTL can use both very fast flip-well LVT devices with Forward Body Bias (FBB) and Standard VT devices that have very low leakage through very high Reverse Body Bias (RBB). According to Wave, “WTL‐ BB represents a unique differentiator for FD‐SOI: enabling significant performance and power advantages over bulk processes. This strategic advantage will persist into deeper nodes.” Clearly one to watch!

 

The FD-SOI Technology for Energy Efficient SoCs by Giorgio Cesana, Director of Marketing, STMicroelectronics

Here ST gives a FD-SOI primer, explaining the technology, design considerations and Forward Body Bias (FBB) use and results. Examples from both fast CPU/GPU and ultra-low power designs are given.

Slide 19 from the second ST presentation at the 2014 Shanghai FD-SOI Forum (Courtesy: ST)

Slide 19 from the second ST presentation at the 2014 Shanghai FD-SOI Forum (Courtesy: ST)

SOI Ecosystem – Strategic Opportunity for China by Tom Reeves, VP Technology Alliance, IBM

The SOI ecosystem is a central theme in this presentation. It has a long history of producing successful ICs, and the SOI enabled device structure pipeline continues through 7nm. IBM sees big opportunities for China in mobile, automotive, industrial, IoT, wearable and other More-than-Moore apps. The call to action is clear: now is the time for China to accelerate the building of its SOI ecosystem.

Slides 3 and 7 from the IBM presentation at the 2014 Shanghai FD-SOI Forum (Courtesy: IBM)

Slides 3 and 7 from the IBM presentation at the 2014 Shanghai FD-SOI Forum (Courtesy: IBM)

Foundry Business Opportunities by Paul Colestock, Sr. Director of Segment Marketing, GlobalFoundries has not yet been posted as of this writing. But keep checking back – it should be there soon.

Also, look for another ASN post on the Shanghai 2014 RF-SOI Workshop coming up shortly.

~~

Special thanks to the folks at the SOI Consortium for their help in compiling details for this piece.

* A tip of the hat to Eric Esteve at Semiwiki for first pointing this out in his recent piece on Wave Semi’s technology, which you can read here.

ByGianni PRATA

With FD-SOI, Industry Takes Another Look at SOI (SemiEngineering)

In a piece entitled Time To Look At SOI Again (you can read it here), SemiconductorEngineering Executive Editor Mark Lapedus charts the industry’s accelerating interest in SOI, including FD-SOI and FinFETs on SOI.

He notes that FD-SOI is now planned for four generations: 28nm, 20nm, 14nm and 10nm. The offering has expanded beyond ST to Samsung and GF. He quotes GF’s Mike Mendicino as saying, “We’re seeing a lot of interest from customers (for FDSOI).”

For FinFETs, he quotes Terry Hook’s IBM presentation at the recent IEEE S3S Conference, when he said that on SOI, “…the formation of the fin is blindingly simple”.  (If you missed Terry’s ASN piece last year, you can read it here.)

ByGianni PRATA

Shanghai RF-SOI and FD-SOI presentations being posted on SOI Consortium website

All the presentations made at the SOI Consortium‘s Shanghai workshops on RF-SOI and FD-SOI are now being posted.

The RF-SOI posting includes presentations from IBS, ST, UCL, Skyworks, Shanghai Technology Institute, IBM, SMIC, Soitec and GlobalFoundries – click here for those.

The FD-SOI postings include presentations from IBS, ST, Synopsys, Verisilicon, Wave Semi, IBM and GlobalFoundries – click here for those.

As of this writing, most of the presentations are available – the rest will follow very shortly so check back soon if the one you want is not there yet.

 

ByFanny Rodriguez

Welcome to IEEE S3S – the World’s Leading Conference for SOI, 3DI and Sub Vt (SF, 6-9 Oct)

S3Sheader

(For best rates, register by September 18th.)

The 2014 IEEE SOI-3DI–Subthreshold (S3S) Microelectronics Technology Unified Conference will take place from Monday October 6 through Thursday October 8 in San Francisco.

Photo Credit: Catherine Allibert

Photo Credit: Catherine Allibert

Last year we entered into a new era as the IEEE S3S Conference. The transition from the IEEE International SOI Conference to the IEEE S3S conference was successful by any measurement. The first year of the new conference leading-edge experts from 3D Integration, Sub-threshold Microelectronics and SOI fields gathered and we established a world class international venue to present, learn and debate about these exciting topics. The overall participation at the first year of the new conference grew by over 50%, and the overall quality and quantity of the technical content grew even more.

This year we are looking forward to continuing to enhance the content of the 2014 S3S Conference.

 

Short courses: Monolithic 3D & Power-Efficient Chip Tech

On Monday, Oct. 6 we will feature two Short Courses that will run in parallel. Short courses are an educational venue where newcomers can gain overview and generalists can learn more details about new and timely topics.

The short course on Monolithic 3D will be a full day deep dive into the topic of three-dimensional integration wherein the vertical connectivity is compatible with the horizontal connectivity (10,000x better than TSV). Already there are extremely successful examples of monolithic 3D Flash Memory. Looking beyond this initial application, we will explore the application of monolithic 3D to alternate memories like RRAM, CMOS systems with silicon and other channel materials like III V. In addition, a significant portion of the short course will be dedicated to the exciting opportunity of Monolithic 3D in the context of CMOS Logic.

The other short course we will offer this year is entitled Power Efficient Chip Technology. This short course will address several key aspects of power-efficiency including low power transistors and circuits. The course will also review in detail the impact of design and architecture on the energy-efficiency of systems. The short course chairs as well as the instructors are world class leading experts from the most prestigious industry and academic institutions.

 

Conference program

The regular conference sessions will start on Tuesday Oct. 7 with the plenary session, which will feature presentations from Wall Street (Morgan Stanley Investment Banking), Microsoft and MediaTek. After the plenary session we will hear invited talks and this year’s selection of outstanding papers from international researchers from top companies and universities. The most up to date results will be shared. Audience questions and one on one interaction with presenters is encouraged.

Back by popular demand we will have 2 Hot Topics Sessions this year. The first Hot Topic Session is scheduled for Tuesday Oct. 7th and will feature exciting 3DI topics. The other Hot Topics session is scheduled for Thursday Oct 9 and will showcase new and exciting work in the area of MEMS.

Our unique poster session and reception format will have a short presentation by the authors followed by one on one interaction to review details of the poster with the audience, in a friendly atmosphere, around a drink. Last year we had regular posters as well as several invited posters with very high quality content and we anticipate this year’s poster session to be even better than last years.

We are offering a choice of two different fundamentals classes on Wednesday afternoon. One of the Fundamentals classes will focus on Robust Design of Subthreshold Digital and Mixed Circuits, with tutorials by the worlds leading experts in this field. The SOI fundamentals course is focused on RF SOI Technology Fundamentals and Applications.

Our technical content is detailed on our program webpage.

 

Panel discussions, cookout & more

Keeping in line with tradition, on Wednesday night we will have a hearty cook out with delicious food and drink followed by the Panel Session entitled Cost and Benefit of Scaling Beyond 14nm. Panel speakers from financial, semiconductor equipment, technology, and academic research institutions will gather along with the audience to debate this timely topic. Although Thursday is the last day of the conference we will have stimulating presentations on novel devices, energy harvesting, radiation effects along with the MEMS Hot Topic Session and Late News Session. As always we will finish the conference with the award ceremony for the best papers.

SFstreetsignOur conference has a long tradition of attracting presenters and audience members from the most prestigious research, technology and academic institutions from around the world. There are many social events at the S3S Conference as well as quiet time where ideas are discussed and challenged off line and people from various fields can learn more about other fields of interest from leading experts.

The conference also offers many opportunities for networking with people inside and also outside ones area. The venue this year is San Francisco. We chose this location to attract the regions leading experts from Academia and Industry. If you have free time we encourage you to explore San Francisco which is famous for a multitude of cultural and culinary opportunities.

Please take a moment to learn more about our conference by browsing our website or downloading our advance program.

To take full advantage of this outstanding event, register before September 18!

Special hotel rates are also available from the dedicated hotel registration page.

The committee and I look forward to seeing you in San Fransisco.

– Bruce Doris, S3S General Chair

 Photo Credit: Catherine Allibert

Photo Credit: Catherine Allibert
ByAdministrator

The SOI Papers at VLSI ’14 (Part 2):

Last week we posted Part 1 of our round-up of SOI papers at the VLSI Symposia – which included the paper showing that 14nm FD-SOI should match the performance of 14nm bulk FinFETs. (If you missed Part 1, covering the three big 14nm FD-SOI and 10nm FinFET papers, click here to read it now.)

This post here gives you the abstracts of all the other papers we couldn’t fit into Part 1.  (Note that as of this posting date, the papers are not yet available on the IEEE Xplore site – but they should be shortly.)

There are in fact two symposia under the VLSI umbrella: one on technology and one on circuits. We’ll cover both here. Read on!

 

(More!) SOI Highlights from the Symposium on VLSI Technology

4.2: III-V Single Structure CMOS by Using Ultrathin Body InAs/GaSb-OI Channels on Si, M. Yokoyama et al. (U. Tokyo, NTT)

The authors propose and demonstrate the operation of single structure III-V CMOS transistors by using metal S/D ultrathin body (UTB) InAs/GaSb-on-insulator (-OI) channels on Si wafers. It is found that the CMOS operation of the InAs/GaSb-OI channel is realized by using ultrathin InAs layers, because of the quantum confinement of the InAs channel and the tight gate control. The quantum well (QW) InAs/GaSb-OI on Si structures are fabricated by using direct wafer bonding (DWB). They experimentally demonstrate both n-and p-MOSFET operation for an identical InAs/GaSb-OI transistor by choosing the appropriate thickness of InAs and GaSb channel layers. The channel mobilities of both InAs n- and GaSb p-MOSFET are found to exceed those of Si MOSFETs.

 

4.4:  High Performance InGaAs-On-Insulator MOSFETs on Si by Novel Direct Wafer Bonding Technology Applicable to Large Wafer Size Si, S. Kim et al. (U. Tokyo, IntelliEPI)

The authors present the first demonstration of InGaAs-on-insulator (-OI) MOSFETs with wafer size scalability up to Si wafer size of 300 mm and larger by a direct wafer bonding (DWB) process using InGaAs channels grown on Si donor substrates with III-V buffer layers instead of InP donor substrates. It is found that this DWB process can provide the high quality InGaAs thin films on Si. The fabricated InGaAs-OI MOSFETs have exhibited the high electron mobility of 1700 cm2/Vs and large mobility enhancement factor of 3× against Si MOSFETs.

 

6.1: Simple Gate Metal Anneal (SIGMA) Stack for FinFET Replacement Metal Gate Toward 14nm and Beyond, T. Ando et al. (IBM)

The authors demonstrate a Simple Gate Metal Anneal (SIGMA) stack for FinFET Replacement Metal Gate technology with a 14nm design rule. The SIGMA stack uses only thin TiN layers as workfunction (WF)-setting metals for CMOS integration. The SIGMA stack provides 100x PBTI lifetime improvement via band alignment engineering. Moreover, the SIGMA stack enables 9nm more gate length (Lg) scaling compared to the conventional stack with matched gate resistance due to absence of high resistivity WF-setting metal and more room for W in the gate trench. This gate stack solution opens up pathways for aggressive Lg scaling toward the 14nm node and beyond.

 

8.1: First Demonstration of Strained SiGe Nanowires TFETs with ION Beyond 700μA/μm, A. Villalon et al. (CEA-LETI, U.Udine, IMEP-LAHC, Soitec)

The authors presented for the first time high performance Nanowire (NW) Tunnel FETs (TFET) obtained with a CMOS-compatible process flow featuring compressively strained Si1-xGex (x=0, 0.2, 0.25) nanowires, Si0.7Ge0.3 Source and Drain and High-K/Metal gate. Nanowire architecture strongly improves electrostatics, while low bandgap channel (SiGe) provides increased band-to-band tunnel (BTBT) current to tackle low ON current challenges. They analyzed the impact of these improvements on TFETs and compare them to MOSFET ones. Nanowire width scaling effects on TFET devices were also investigated, showing a 1/W3 dependence of ON current ION per wire. The fabricated devices exhibit higher Ion than any previously reported TFET, with values up to 760μA/μm and average subthreshold slopes (SS) of less than 80mV/dec.

8.2: Band-to-Band Tunneling Current Enhancement Utilizing Isoelectronic Trap and its Application to TFETs, T. Mori et al. (AIST)

The authors proposed a new ON current boosting technology for TFETs utilizing an isoelectronic trap (IET), which is formed by introducing electrically inactive impurities. They  demonstrated tunneling current enhancement by 735 times in Si-based diodes and 11 times enhancement in SOI-TFETs owing to non-thermal tunneling component by the Al-N isoelectronic impurity complex. The IET technology would be a breakthrough for ON current enhancement by a few orders in magnitude in indirect-transition semiconductors such as Si and SiGe.

 

9.1: Ge CMOS: Breakthroughs of nFETs (I max=714 mA/mm, gmax=590 mS/mm) by Recessed Channel and S/D, H. Wu et al. (Purdue U.)

The authors report on a new approach to realize the Ge CMOS technology based on the recessed channel and source/drain (S/D). Both junctionless (JL) nFETs and pFETs are integrated on a common GeOI substrate. The recessed S/D process greatly improves the Ge n-contacts. A record high maximum drain current (Imax) of 714 mA/mm and trans-conductance (gmax) of 590 mS/mm, high Ion/Ioff ratio of 1×105 are archived at channel length (Lch) of 60 nm on the nFETs. Scalability studies on Ge nFETs are conducted sub-100 nm region down to 25 nm for the first time. Considering the Fermi level pining near the valence band edge of Ge, a novel hybrid CMOS structure with the inversion-mode (IM) Ge pFET and the accumulation-mode (JAM) Ge nFET is proposed.

 

13.4: Lowest Variability SOI FinFETs Having Multiple Vt by Back-Biasing, T. Matsukawa et al. (AIST)

FinFETs with an amorphous metal gate (MG) are fabricated on silicon-on-thin-buried-oxide (SOTB) wafers for realizing both low variability and tunable threshold voltage (Vt) necessary for multiple Vt solution. The FinFETs with an amorphous TaSiN MG record the lowest on-state drain cur-rent (Ion) variability (0.37 %μm) in comparison to bulk and SOI planar MOSFETs thanks to the suppressed variability of Vt (AVt=1.32 mVμm), drain induced barrier lowering (DIBL) and trans-conductance (Gm). Back-biasing through the SOTB provides excellent Vt controllability keeping the low Vt variability in contrast to Vt tuning by fin channel doping.

 

13.6: Demonstration of Ultimate CMOS based on 3D Stacked InGaAs-OI/SGOI Wire Channel MOSFETs with Independent Back Gate (Late News), T. Irisawa et al. (GNC-AIST)

An ultimate CMOS structure composed of high mobility wire channel InGaAs-OI nMOSFETs and SGOI pMOSFETs has been successfully fabricated by means of sequential 3D integration. Well behaved CMOS inverters and first demonstration of InGaAs/SiGe (Ge) dual channel CMOS ring oscillators are reported. The 21-stage CMOS ring oscillator operation was achieved at Vdd as low as 0.37 V with the help of adaptive back gate bias, VBG control.

 

17.3: Ultralow-Voltage Design and Technology of Silicon-on-Thin-Buried-Oxide (SOTB) CMOS for Highly Energy Efficient Electronics in IoT Era (Invited), S. Kamohara et al. (Low-power Electronics Association & Project, U. Electro-Communications, Keio U, Shibaura IT, Kyoto IT, U.Tokyo)

Ultralow-voltage (ULV) operation of CMOS circuits is effective for significantly reducing the power consumption of the circuits. Although operation at the minimum energy point (MEP) is effective, its slow operating speed has been an obstacle. The silicon-on-thin-buried-oxide (SOTB) CMOS is a strong candidate for ultralow-power (ULP) electronics because of its small variability and back-bias control. These advantages of SOTB CMOS enable power and performance optimization with adaptive Vth control at ULV and can achieve ULP operation with acceptably high speed and low leakage. In this paper, the authors describe their recent results on the ULV operation of the CPU, SRAM, ring oscillator, and, other lcircuits. Their 32-bit RISC CPU chip, named “Perpetuum Mobile,” has a record low energy consumption of 13.4 pJ when operating at 0.35 V and 14 MHz. Perpetuum-Mobile micro-controllers are expected to be a core building block in a huge number of electronic devices in the internet-of-things (IoT) era.

 

18.1: Direct Measurement of the Dynamic Variability of 0.120μm2 SRAM Cells in 28nm FD-SOI Technology, J. El Husseini et al. (CEA-Leti, STMicroelectronics)

The authors presented a new characterization technique successfully used to measure the dynamic variability of SRAMs at the bitcell level. This effective method easily replaces heavy simulations based on measures at transistors level. (It’s worth noting that this could save characterization/modeling costs and improve the accuracy of modeling.)  Moreover, an analytical model was proposed to explain the SRAM cell variability results. Using this model, the read failure probability after 10 years of working at operating conditions is estimated and is shown to be barely impacted by this BTI-induced variability in this FD-SOI technology.

 

18.2: Ultra-Low Voltage (0.1V) Operation of Vth Self-Adjusting MOSFET and SRAM Cell, A. Ueda et al. (U. Tokyo)

A Vth self-adjusting MOSFET consisting of floating gate is proposed and the ultra-low voltage operation of the Vth self-adjustment and SRAM cell at as low as 0.1V is successfully demonstrated.  In this device, Vth automatically decreases at on-state and increases at off-state, resulting in high Ion/Ioff ratio as well as stable SRAM operation at low Vdd. The minimum operation voltage at 0.1V is experimentally demonstrated in 6T SRAM cell with Vth self-adjusting nFETs and pFETs.

 

18.3: Systematic Study of RTN in Nanowire Transistor and Enhanced RTN by Hot Carrier Injection and Negative Bias Temperature Instability, K. Ota et al. (Toshiba)

The authors experimentally study the random telegraph noise (RTN) in nanowire transistor (NW Tr.) with various NW widths (W), lengths (L), and heights (H). Time components of RTN such as time to capture and emission are independent of NW size, while threshold voltage fluctuation by RTN was inversely proportional to the one-half power of circumference corresponding to the conventional carrier number fluctuations regardless of the side surface orientation. Hot carrier injection (HCI) and negative bias temperature instability (NBTI) induced additional carrier traps leading to the increase in the number of observed RTN. Moreover, threshold voltage fluctuation is enhanced by HCI and NBTI and increase of threshold voltage fluctuation becomes severer in narrower W.

 

SOI Highlights from the Symposium on VLSI Circuits

C19.4: A 110mW, 0.04mm2, 11GS/s 9-bit interleaved DAC in 28nm FDSOI with >50dB SFDR across Nyquist. E. Olieman et al. (U.Twente)

The authors presented an innovative nine-bit interleaved DAC (digital-to-analog converter) implemented in a 28nm FD-SOI technology. It uses two-time interleaving to suppress the effects of the main error mechanism of current-steering DACs. In addition, its clock timing can be tuned by back gate bias voltage. The DAC features an 11 GS/s sampling rate while occupying only 0.04mm2 and consuming only 110mW at a 1.0V supply voltage.

 

UTwenteC194VLSI14lowres

(Courtesy: VLSI Symposia)

A nine-bit interleaved digital-to-analog converter (DAC) from the University of Twente uses two-time interleaving to suppress the effects of the main error mechanism of current-steering DACs. The low-power device features an 11 GS/s sampling rate and occupies only 0.04mm2. From A 110mW, 0.04mm2, 11GS/s 9-bit interleaved DAC in 28nm FDSOI with >50dB SFDR across Nyquist, E. Olieman et al. (University of Twente)

 

 

C6.4: A Monolithically-Integrated Optical Transmitter and Receiver in a Zero-Change 45nm SOI Process, M. Georgas et al . (MIT, U.Colorado/Boulder)

An optical transmitter and receiver with monolithically-integrated photonic devices and circuits are demonstrated together for the first time in a commercial 45nm SOI process, without any process changes. The transmitter features an interleaved-junction carrier-depletion ring modulator and operates at 3.5Gb/s with an 8dB extinction ratio and combined circuit and device energy cost of 70fJ/bit. The optical receiver connects to an integrated SiGe detector designed for 1180nm wavelength and performs at 2.5Gb/s with 15μA sensitivity and energy cost of 220fJ/bit.

ByAdministrator

The SOI Papers at VLSI ’14 (Part 1): Breakthroughs in 14nm FD-SOI, 10nm SOI-FinFETs

The VLSI Symposia – one on technology and one on circuits – are among the most influential in the semiconductor industry. Three hugely important papers were presented – one on 14nm FD-SOI and two on 10nm SOI FinFETs – at the most recent symposia in Honolulu (9-13 June 2014). In fact, three out of four papers in the Highlights Sessions covered SOI devices for the 10 and 14nm nodes.

There were so many great SOI-based papers that we’re going to cover this conference in two posts.  This post covers the three big 14nm FD-SOI and 10nm FinFET papers. Summaries and abstracts of all the others will be covered in Part 2 (click here to read Part 2).  Please note that as of this posting date, the papers are not yet available from the IEEE Xplore site – but they should be shortly.

Read on!

Top SOI Highlights from the Symposium on VLSI Technology

2.3: 14-nm FDSOI Platform Technology for High-Speed and Energy-Efficient Applications. O. Weber et al. (STMicroelectronics, CEA-LETI, IBM)

This is the big paper we’ve been waiting for – the one that indicates 14nm FD-SOI should match the performance of 14nm bulk FinFETs. We still don’t have a side-by-side FD-SOI v. bulk FinFET comparison, as there is scant data at comparable leakage on bulk FinFETs at 14nm publicly available with which to compare. But based on what they’ve been seeing and some extrapolation, the FD-SOI  technology developers see the figures presented in this paper as a big win.  We’ve already seen hints of this in a recent ASN piece (click here to see that one) showing 14nm FD-SOI matching 14nm bulk for performance and coming in at a much lower cost.  Now in terms of performance, here’s the VLSI paper detailing the FD-SOI side of the story.

The authors confirm a scaling path for FD-SOI technology down to 14nm, using strain-engineered FD-SOI transistors. Compared to 28-nm FDSOI, this work provides an 0.55x area reduction from scaling and delivers a 30% speed boost at the same power, or a 55% power reduction at the same speed, due to an increase in drive current and low gate-to-drain capacitance. Using forward back-bias, an additional 40% dynamic power reduction for ring oscillators is experimentally demonstrated. Moreover, a full single-port SRAM is described, including a 0.081 μm2 high-density bitcell and two 0.090 μm2 bitcell designs used to address high-performance and low-leakage/low Vmin requirements.

Paper-T2.3-14nm-FDSOI-Technology-for-High-Speed-and-Energy-Efficient-Applications

(Courtesy: VLSI Symposia)

 

TEM of an FD-SOI nMOS transistor, showing gate-to-drain capacitance components and experimental values. From 14-nm FDSOI Platform Technology for High-Speed and Energy-Efficient Applications (O. Weber et al., STMicroelectronics, CEA-LETI & IBM)

 

 

 

 

 

2.2: A 10nm Platform Technology for Low Power and High Performance Application Featuring FINFET Devices with Multi Workfunction Gate Stack on Bulk and SOI.  K.-I. Seo et al.  (Samsung, IBM, ST, GF, UMC)

This paper covers the first-ever demonstration of FinFET technology suitable for 10-nm CMOS manufacturing. Targeting low-power and high-performance, it offers the tightest contacted poly pitch (64 nm) and metallization pitch (48 nm) ever reported on both bulk and SOI substrates. A 0.053 μm2 SRAM bit-cell – and this part was on SOI –  was reported with a low corresponding static noise margin of 140 mV at 0.75 V.  The team developed intensive multi-patterning technology and various self-aligned processes with 193i lithography to overcome optical patterning limits. A multi-workfunction gate stack provides Vt tunability without the variability degradation channel dopants induce.

Paper-T2.2-A-10nm-Platform-Technology-for-Low-Power-and-High-Performance-Applications-Featuring-FINFET-Devices-with-Multi-Workfunction-Gate-Stack-on-Bulk-and-SOI

(Courtesy: VLSI Symposia)

 

Projected scaling trend, featuring the tightest contacted poly pitch (CPP=64 nm) and metallization pitch (Mx=48 nm) ever reported, on both bulk and SOI substrates. From A 10nm Platform Technology for Low Power and High Performance Application Featuring FINFET Devices with Multi Workfunction Gate Stack on Bulk and SOI, by K.-I. Seo et al.  (Samsung, IBM, ST GF, UMC)

 

 

 

 

2.4: Strained Si1-xGex-on-Insulator PMOS FinFETs with Excellent Sub-Threshold Leakage, Extremely-High Short-Channel Performance and Source Injection Velocity for 10nm Node and Beyond, P. Hashemi et al. (IBM, GlobalFoundries, MIT)

The authors demonstrated high performance (HP) s-SiGe pMOS pMOSsfinFETs with Ion/Ieff of ~1.05/0.52mA/μm and ~1.3/0.71mA/μm at Ioff=100nA/μm at VDD=0.8 and 1V, extremely high intrinsic performance and source injection velocity. Compared to earlier work, an optimized process flow and a novel interface passivation scheme, result in ~30% mobility enhancement and dramatic sub-threshold-swing reduction to 65mV/dec. They also demonstrate the most aggressively scaled s-SiGe finFET reported to date, with WFIN~8nm and L G~15nm, while maintaining high current drive and low leakage. With their very low GIDL-limited ID, min and more manufacturing-friendly process compared to high-Ge content SiGe devices, as well as impressive Ion~0.42mA/μm at Ioff =100nA/μm and gm, int as high as 2.4mS/μm at VDD=0.5V, s-SiGe FinFETs are strong candidates for future HP and low-power applications.

VLSI_2.4

(Courtesy: VLSI Symposia)

 

TEM images of the most aggressively scaled SiGe FinFET reported to date with a fin width of ~8nm and gate length of ~15nm. From Strained Si1-xGex-on-Insulator PMOS FinFETs with Excellent Sub-Threshold Leakage, Extremely-High Short-Channel Performance and Source Injection Velocity for 10nm Node and Beyond, P. Hashemi et al. (IBM, GlobalFoundries, MIT)

 

 

 

Rump Sessions

There were also two rump sessions held during the conference, which were co-chaired by Soitec CTO Carlos Mazure. The SOI ecosystem was well-represented, the rooms were packed and the debate lively.

Rump Session 1: Who gives up on scaling first: device and process technology engineers, circuit designers, or company executives?  Which scaling ends first – memory, or logic? Panelists: M. Bohr, Intel; M. Cao, TSMC; J. Chen, Nvidia; S-H Lee, Hynix; T-J King Liu, UC Berkeley; K. Nii, Renesas: R. Shrivastava, Sandisk; H. Jaouen, STMicroelectronics; E. Terzioglu, Qualcomm

The take-away here is that the majority of panelists and attendees see company executives giving up on scaling in the face of rising costs.

Rump Session 2: 450 mm, EUV, III-V, 3D; All in 7nm? Are you serious?!  Panelists:  W. Arnold, ASML;
 R. Gottscho, Lam Research; K. Hasserjian, AMAT; S. Iyer, IBM;
 C. Maleville, Soitec; A. Steegen, IMEC

The general consensus was that 3D integration is needed and will be adopted at the 7nm node due to delays and the high cost of the EUV and III-V, and the lack of 450mm wafer supply and support.

ByGianni PRATA

IBM Specialty Foundry Shipped Over 7 Billion RF-SOI Chips in Last 3 Years, Launches New RF-SOI Technology

7SW SOI-lightningbolt_060314final

 

IBM Foundry Solutions announced a new SOI-based technology for RF called 7SW SOI. The company says it is designed for 30 percent better performance than its predecessor, 7RF SOI, with which IBM shipped over seven billion chips in the last three years. The new mobile phone chip technology can help device manufacturers provide consumers with extremely fast downloads, higher quality connections, and longer battery life than its highly successful predecessor, says an IBM spokesperson. The new technology is designed to take advantage of more frequency bands, taking phone manufacturers one step closer to the reality of creating a “world phone” that can be used anywhere.

 

 

 

 

Here are the key points:

  • The new technology gives designers added flexibility, enabling them to develop chips that integrate more function or that take up to 30 percent less space, depending on design goals.
  • The new technology is a hybrid 180nm/130nm technology base and devices optimized to accommodate aggressive LTE standards and demanding worldwide coverage requirements
  • It is optimized for multi-band switching in next-generation smartphones.
  • Poised to drive innovation in newer category of smart devices in the Internet of Things as the new technology is an ideal fit for high-band LTE and Wi-Fi 5.8 GHz band applications.
  • Clients can exploit the technology advances offered by 7SW to develop solutions that enhance user experiences, including broader geographic mobility and faster data rates for high definition video.

For a helpful brochure on IBM’s RF foundry offerings, click here.

ByAdministrator

Interview: Leti CEO Malier on the FD-SOI Breakthrough; Leti Days in Grenoble (24-26 June) & Semicon West

Some years back, European research giant CEA-Leti made a major commitment to support FD-SOI, partnering with STMicroelectronics, Soitec and IBM.  Now, with the big FD-SOI foundry announcement by Samsung and STMicroelectronics, Leti’s ready to bring its vast expertise to players throughout the value chain, right up through design integration.

To learn more about the range Leti covers, you may also want to check out the “Leti Day” conferences around the world, where they showcase their technology. The next one is in Grenoble (24-26 June, registration site here), followed by an invitation-only event during Semicon West (info here), as well as events in Paris and Tokyo.

ASN recently caught up again with Laurent Malier, CEO of CEA-Leti to get his take on the ST-Samsung news.  (A few months ago, we did an in-depth interview with Malier on the massive role Leti plays in the FD-SOI ecosystem — click here to read it if you missed it then).

LaurentMalierLeti

Laurent Malier, CEO of CEA-Leti

Here are some excerpts from our conversation.

Advanced Substrate News (ASN): What does the Samsung-ST announcement mean for Leti?

Laurent Malier (LM): It means the success of our strategy. For years, we’ve been heavily investing in FD-SOI technology, committing critical scientific and technological support at each phase of FD-SOI development. We were very confident that it was the best option for balancing performance, energy efficiency and cost.  In terms of technology and performance, that was very clearly demonstrated last year at CES and in Barcelona. In addition to performance you need to go into manufacturing, secure the ramp-up, secure the costs, and secure the full ecosystem. We worked very hard on all these things over the last year and a half. But the last brick was missing: securing a foundry for the second source and enlarging access to the technology. Now we have it: the ST-Samsung announcement gives us the opportunity to showcase our work and our methodology

 

ASN: In which areas did Leti contribute to FD-SOI development?

LM:  Leti really took a global approach in the development of FD-SOI. Of course, the SOI substrate is based on a Leti invention.  Device research was done by Leti teams with our ecosystem of partners at three different sites, first in Grenoble, and later at Crolles [ST] and Albany [IBM]. We were also active in the modeling (UTSOI models implemented in all EDA tools were developed by Leti) and design kit development, so that a complete design kit was available for designers. We had designers who worked for several years in order to prove the results at the circuit level. And we have several customers for whom we’re deploying the technology in their applications. So from raw material to architecture and application design, we have a global footprint.

Because FD-SOI is an enabling technology, we need to do more than support the “push” – we also need to support the “pull” in exploring applications that will benefit from this technology. This is something else we do. Leti is not only a silicon technology institute but also is focused on applications. Half of our activity looks at application opportunities – especially for telecom, IoT, healthcare, automotives and power management.

 

ASN: Do you see opportunities for FD-SOI in IoT?

LM: For me, the first wave of IoT will be in machine-to-machine [M2M] and process monitoring, so that’s synergistic with sensors. Because your objects are connected, you’ll greatly expand your ability to explore data.  You’ll need more efficient local data processing and more efficient data transmission – so these are places for FD-SOI circuits. For companies that are interested in any part of the value chain – design, sensor integration and so forth – these are areas where we are leaders and can provide expertise.  Look for more announcements coming up at Leti Days.

LetiDays2014