The SOI Industry Consortium is actively engaged in supporting the industry’s transition to fully-depleted (FD) technologies.
FD technologies offer:
There are two main flavors of FD technologies:
Here are some of the main points we’re making.
Planar FD transistors are cost effective and help close the FinFET gap while maintaining the design infrastructure.
Planar FD significantly simplifies the manufacturing process, resulting in impressive per-die savings as compared to bulk – a point which is now garnering attention.
The value proposition is there: power, performance, cost and variability control. And perhaps most importantly, it’s available at 28nm to the fabless community now, through Consortium members STMicroelectronics and GlobalFoundries.
With oxide-isolated fins, the isolation process is simpler and less expensive. Many of the control issues are improved over bulk isolated FinFETs. The result is faster time-to-market and better power/performance.
With respect to variability control, starting on an SOI substrate enables:
In terms of process, starting on an SOI wafer as opposed to bulk means:
With SOI, dielectric isolation is superior. This results in:
So when considering the bottom line, FinFET on insulator (compared to FinFET on bulk) is:
There are at least 3 major substrate vendors supporting the transition to fully-depleted technologies. Their combined output will easily provide the required industry volume, and can be expanded if needed.
IDC predicts that worldwide smartphone shipments will reach over 1.16 billion in 2016. The processors will require about 1.3 million wafers/year. (See figure.) The combined capacity of the existing suppliers is 2.3-2.4 million wafers/year by early 2014. They have indicated that additional factory capacity can be put in place within a 12 month window, so incremental capacity can quickly reach 3 million wafers/year – more than enough to meet projected demand.
At the SOI Industry Consortium, we are extremely pleased with the traction we’re getting. With the first FD-SOI products hitting the shelves, we think 2013 will be an exciting year.