STMicroelectronics is now sampling 28nm FD-SOI microcontrollers (MCUs) with embedded non-volatile memory (eNVM) based on ePCM to alpha customers. Field trials meeting the requirements of automotive applications and full technology qualification are expected in 2020. These MCUs—the world’s first to use ePCM, which stands for embedded Phase-Change Memory—will target powertrain systems, advanced and secure gateways, safety/ADAS applications, and Vehicle Electrification. (Read the full press release here.)
“Having applied ST’s process, design, technology, and application expertise to ePCM, we’ve developed an innovative recipe that makes ST the very first to combine this non-volatile memory with 28nm FD-SOI for high-performance, low-power automotive microcontrollers,” said Marco Monti, President Automotive and Discrete Group, STMicroelectronics. “With samples already in some lead-customers’ hands, we’re confirming the outstanding temperature performance of ePCM and its ability to meet all automotive standards, further assuring our confidence in its market adoption and success.”
ePCM presents a solution to chip- and system-level challenges, meeting automotive MCU requirements for AEC-Q100 Grade 0, operating at temperature up to +165°C. In addition, ST says its technology assures firmware/data retention through high-temperature soldering reflow processes and immunity to radiation, for additional data safety.
Architecture and performance benchmark updates were presented the most recent IEDM (December 2018 in San Francisco) in a paper entitled Truly Innovative 28nm FDSOI Technology for Automotive Micro-Controller Applications embedding 16MB Phase Change Memory (F. Arnaud et al). As of this writing, the IEDM 2018 papers are not yet posted on the IEEE Xplore Digital Library site. However, the ppt that ST presented at the conference is available here.
For more in-depth information on ePCM, see the ST PCM page. To learn more about how it compares with competing technologies such as eMRAM, read Embedded Phase-Change Memory Emerges by Mark Lapedus of SemiEngineering. Papers describing other eNVM solutions on FD-SOI were also presented at IEDM 2018. Samsung’s is entitled Demonstration of Highly Manufacturable STT-MRAM Embedded in 28nm Logic (Y. J. Song et al). GlobalFoundries’ is entitled 22-nm FD-SOI Embedded MRAM Technology for Low-Power Automotive-Grade-1 MCU Applications (K. Lee et al).
Leti’s monolithic 3D technology, which has now been dubbed “CoolCube”, was featured in a recent EETimes piece. Entitled True 3D monolithic integration eliminates TSV dependence (click here to read it), the article covers a Leti paper presented during a 3D-VLSI workshop preceding IEDM ’14. Leti’s Advanced CMOS lab manager Maud Vinet detailed the “cool” process in an FPGA, stacking a 14nm FD-SOI logic layer on top of a memory layer. It eliminates the need for TSVs, shrinks area by 55%, cut power in half and increases speed by 30%, effectively gaining a full node in terms of power and performance.
Following IEDM (Dec. ’13), Zvi Or-Bach, President & CEO of posted a SemiMD blog (click here) entitled Why SOI is the Future Technology of Semiconductors. Beginning with the assertions that it’s cheaper and easier for FinFETS, it’s a natural for monolithic 3D ICs, and it best for next-gen transistor architectures, he goes on to elaborate on each of these points. He cites presentations by GloFo and IBS for cost, then delves into Leti’s sequential 3D technology, leveraging FD-SOI and FinFETs, as well as other SOI-based monolithic 3D IC integration developments. A recommended read.
Of those receiving top awards at the IEDM last month, over half (!) are stars of the SOI community. Wow.
I discovered this while putting together the new listing of SOI-based papers at IEDM (don’t miss the summaries & links now posted in ASN’s most recent PaperLinks).
At the IEDM, the IEEE also awarded the title of “Fellow” to more major figures in the SOI world – see that article in ASN#15.
The IEDM is considered by many to be the most prestigious of the industry’s conferences. Here’s the “SOI list” of the most recent award winners.
To: Ghavam G. Shahidi, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center
“For contributions to and leadership in the development of silicon-on-insulator CMOS technology.”
Ghavam Shahidi has been the driving force in making SOI a manufacturable reality and an integral component of today’s microelectronics. He is currently the director of Silicon Technology at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.
To: Bijan Davari, IBM T.J Watson Research Center
“For contributions to high performance deep-submicron CMOS technology.”
To create faster, higher-function and low-power microprocessor chips, Bijan Davari and his research team at IBM spearheaded critical changes in chip design to take advantage of new semiconductor materials and processes, including SOI. He is currently vice president of Next Generation Computing Systems/Technology at the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center.
To: John E. Kelly III, IBM
“For leadership in the development and commercialization of silicon technology and for forging industry-university partnerships for semiconductor research and development.”
John E. Kelly III is an executive whose strategic vision has led IBM to major technology breakthroughs and partnerships that have set the pace for the semiconductor industry, including bringing SOI to the high-performance microprocessor market. He is currently senior vice president and director of research at IBM Research.
To: Tsu-Jae King Liu, University of California at Berkeley
“For contributions to nanoscale MOS transistors, memory devices, and MEMs devices.”
Tsu-Jae King Liu is a researcher who co-invented the FinFET, and who has contributed to improving microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology and CMOS. She is currently the Conexant Systems Distinguished Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, where she is also the College of Engineering’s Associate Dean for Research. (Click here to see the FDSOI articles she’s contributed to ASN.)
To: Perrine Batude of CEA-LETI-MINATEC for Advances in 3D CMOS Sequential Integration
The winning paper (awarded at IEDM 2010) is based on Perrine Batude’s PhD dissertation, which she completed at Léti in late 2009. Leveraging FD-SOI, the work in this paper demonstrates the possibility of obtaining regular 2D performance within a 3D sequential integration scheme. It further investigates the unique features of low temperature processes. Finally, it quantifies for the first time, the electrostatic coupling between the layers. Dr. Batude has a degree from the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Physique de Grenoble, and specializes in the 3D integration of elementary functions. Léti hired her as soon as she finished her dissertation.
To: Mark E. Law, University of Florida
“For contributions to widely used silicon integrated circuit process modeling”
Dr. Law is Professor and College of Engineering Associate Dean of Academic Affairs for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Florida. Some of his earlier work related to materials and doping was helpful to the advancement of SOI.
A pretty impressive line-up, don’t you think? Leaders in the research community are certainly impressed with the work of SOI luminaries. But were you surprised by how many were recognized? Leave a comment and share your thoughts.
(Photos courtesy IBM, UC Berkeley, Leti, UFlorida)
The SOI Industry Consortium, CEA-Leti and Soitec are organizing an evening workshop entitled FD-SOI Readiness at the Hilton Baltimore on Wednesday the 9th of December 2009. The workshop is by invitation, particularly targeting IC makers, foundries, TCAD companies and IP houses. Complementing the technical papers and short courses presented during the IEDM conference, the workshop will be devoted to SRAM scaling, design porting from bulk to FD-SOI, BSIM models, the results of porting an ARM core to SOI, and TCAD with an outlook towards the specificities for FD-SOI. It provides a comprehensive review of the current state of technology presented by renowned experts in the field, and includes plenty of time for discussion and exchanges.