SOI got its start in Japan. Now in a raft of new applications, its home again
Japan’s NTT launched the worldwide SOI revolution 27 years ago when it developed the SIMOX (Separation by IMplanted OXygen) process, and gave the first demonstration of an SOI device. Then, with the advent of wafer bonding and Smart Cut™ technology in the early 1990’s, SOI started reaching beyond niche applications.
Mitsubishi announced the production of a low-power gate array on SOI in the fall of 1997. And Oki Electric has lead the world by producing fully-depleted SOI-based system-on-chip (SoC) LSI’s. For several years now, these chips have been integrated into the products of leading watchmakers, such as in Casio’s popular Atomic-Solar G-Shock watches. SOI-based chips are also being used by automotive suppliers such as Denso, and computer makers like Fujitsu are building systems around SOI-based chips from AMD.
Lead by the Sony/Toshiba/IBM “Cell” processor, new generations of high-end, mobile and entertainment applications are being launched. The production of the Cell processor and its implementation in the next generations of PlayStations® and related applications in media, entertainment and video games, will undoubtedly mark a Japanese milestone in SOI.