Driving Roadmaps
Posted date : Oct 15, 2011

Highlights from the IEEE 2011 SOI Conference include presentations by ST, ARM, IBM, Intel, Leti, Peregrine, GlobalFoundries and more.

Tempe Mission Palms Hotel

The 2011 IEEE SOI Conference was held at the lovely Tempe Mission Palms Hotel in Tempe, Arizona.

The 2011 IEEE SOI Conference, held in Tempe, AZ this past October was not one to miss. Highlights include excellent and insightful papers from ST, ARM, IBM, Intel, Leti, Peregrine and GlobalFoundries, plus many more that indicate SOI-based technologies are at the heart of many a roadmap.

Consider some of the plenary talks.

First was Competitive SOC on UTBB SOI by Thomas Skotnicki of ST Microelectronics. This was a detailed presentation on ST’s vision for planar fully depleted (FD) SOI (which he described as equivalent to a FinFET rotated by 90 degrees). Here are some of the key points:

  • ST’s FD objectives are +30% performance at Vdd 1V and +40% at Vdd – 0.1
  • The FD Process saves 10% cost over the equivalent bulk process, mainly because there are 25 fewer implantation steps.
  • The process options for 28, 20, and 14nm were detailed.

Next up was FD-SOI Design Portability from BULK at 20nm Node by Jean Luc Pelloie of ARM. Jean Luc, who is ARM’s Director of SOI Technology, described how a Cortex M0 implementation flow was proven in 22nm SOI. He emphasized that the design migration to FD-SOI is straightforward in terms of EDA flow: the interconnects routing, parasitics are identical, and FD-SOI transistors’ electrical behavior is similar to bulk transistors.

There’s no floating-body effect, no history effect, no timing variability, he reminded attendees. Logic and memories are identical. That said, further optimization can be done to account for different electrical features at the device level. The few differences specific to FD-SOI are not design-related but more process/device-related (SPICE models, antenna effect, ESD protection, potential parasitic bipolar, and back-gate bias).

Jean Luc Pelloie

Jean Luc Pelloie, Director of SOI Technology, ARM, presenting at the 2011 IEEE SOI Conference.

Consider the improvements in performance that ARM’s seeing on an M0 core on 20nm FD-SOI vs. 28nm bulk: 40% better at 1V, 56% at 0.9V, 81% at 0.8, and an amazing 125% better performance at 0.7V.

As SOI Consortium Director Horacio Mendez pointed out in ASN this summer, you typically expect to get about a 25% improvement in performance moving to the next node. But ARM’s showing that if you move to the next node and move to FD-SOI, you get really phenomenal results, especially at the lower supply voltages.

In the Hot Topics Session, Bruce Doris (IBM) announced new High Performance values for FD-SOI in his presentation on The Future of SOI Transistor Technology:

  • At Vdd 1V, for Ioff 100nA, he reported NFET Ieff 0.82 and Isat 1.4 mA/µm
  • At Vdd 1V, for Ioff 100nA, he reported PFET Ieff 0.68 and Isat 1.2 mA/Óµm

Integration of photonics and electronic circuits on SOI was the subject of both Yuri Vlasov’s (IBM) plenary talk, and Juthika Basak’s (Intel) Short Course.

A half-dozen excellent presentations by Leti during the short course and invited papers explored FD-SOI from many perspectives, including scaling paths, properties and challenges/solutions.

Papers from Peregrine and Soitec showed some impressive results for their new mass-produced bonded silicon-on-sapphire (BSOS) wafers for RF applications. In Strain Reduction in Silicon-on-Sapphire by Wafer Bonding BSOS films showed 56% higher electron mobility than traditional SOS; and RF switch performance in BSOS was better than GaAs PHEMTs.

J.P. Raskin (UCL), who’s doing some fascinating work, presented Sensing and MEMS Devices in Thin Film SOI MOS Technology.

And finally, a team from MIT/Lincoln Labs once again slipped in a tantalizing concept in their late paper submission entitled SOI Circuits Powered by Embedded Solar Cell.

The online version of ASN will be covering more of the papers presented at this conference in upcoming PaperLinks articles. But clearly, the 2011 IEEE SOI conference was an excellent one.

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