Driving SOI Cost Reductions
Posted date : Dec 4, 2009

The SOI cost structure is on target for penetrating new markets – especially the all-important mobile markets. Volume customers can anticipate 300mm SOI wafer prices in the $500 range.

Many factors are enabling the cost structure for reaching the $500 SOI wafer.

As the leading SOI wafer manufacturer, Soitec has been driving optimization of its Smart Cut™ manufacturing technology for increased efficiency and continuously improving yields.

Advances supporting implant, thermal processing and finishing steps are enabling us to continue to drive cost reductions.

Additionally, we have fully optimized the refresh cycle of the donor wafer in our Smart Cut process, handling it internally in our Singapore facility (to the point where the top wafer is re-used up to 10 times).  The result is that the $1000 SOI wafer is a thing of the distant past.

It is important to understand that SOI wafers are not simply a better version of bulk or epi. The fabrication of SOI wafers is essentially a first step in the front-end of IC manufacturing, fully qualified by the chip maker and tailored to each customer’s design specifications. As such, it is an example of a tier-one supplier taking full responsibility for an important piece of a manufacturing process – as is commonly found in the back-end and in other industries.

A device-friendly technology, the business case for SOI is clear: it offers simpler processing, resulting in lower cost-of-ownership at the device level. Of course, the savings don’t stop there: SOI continues to lower power and boost performance downstream in the value chain.

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