More Good FD-SOI News from DATE Conference – ST, Leti, Mentor, CMP

At the recent DATE Conference in Grenoble (DATE is like DAC, but in Europe, alternating yearly between Grenoble and Dresden), STMicroelectronics, CEA-Leti & Mentor Graphics joined forces for a FD-SOI presentation organized by CMP and sponsored by Mentor.

Here are some of the highlights (the complete presentations are all available from the CMP website).

FD-SOI: From Successful Collaborative R&D to Successful Silicon Results

Presented by Philippe Magarshack, Technology R&D Group Vice-President and Central CAD GM at STMicroelectronics – Download pdf

  • In this general overview of their ultra-thin body & BoX approach (UTBB), he said that the process technology is very simple, with 12-15% fewer steps
  • Starting at 28nm, they see at least 3 generations
  • They’ve finalized things with GlobalFoundries
  • It’s particularly good for low-power and analog designers
  • For analog, it’s a whole new playing field, with “wonderful properties” for circuit design techniques (6x better gain, no pocket implants…)

DATE ST FDSOI slide 6

Design Infrastructure to Support Advanced FD-SOI Below 20nm

Presented by Jean-Marc Talbot, Senior Director of Engineering Analog & Mixed Signal at Mentor Graphics Grenoble R&D Center – Download pdf

  • Mentor did some awesome work on ST’s FD-SOI project.  The challenge was moving from the models (which were done by Leti) to robust circuit simulators in under two years – which they did.
  • ST had existing characterization tools that Mentor integrated tightly for FD-SOI and did specific tuning for the SPICE engine, resulting in a 5x speed-up in characterization!
  • “The design infrastructure to support FD-SOI technology is up and running,” he concluded.

Mentor FDSOI slide 19

Roadmap Towards 10nm FD-SOI Node

Presented by Laurent Malier, CEO of CEA-LetiDownload pdf

  • Leti has silicon layers down to 3.5nm
  • For boosting pFETs with SiGe, they’re seeing better results with FDSOI than bulk FinFETs.

The advantages of back-biasing increase as you shrink the SOI layers, so it will get even better with each node!

  • The path to 10nm FD-SOI is already defined. “We are really confident in the roadmap,” he said.
  • At 10nm all the benefits remain. Models for 10nm will be available Q1 ’14, and the design kits in Q3 ’14.
  • Leti is working with Mentor, with ST in Crolles (near Grenoble) and with IBM in NY on optimization.

LETI FDSOI slide 17

A few other notables from the DATE conference:

  • In a “Testimonial” session, ST Advanced I/O design engineer Hubert Degoirat talked about designing high-speed I/O Interfaces in 28nm FDSOI. They used MunEDA’s WiCkeD analysis and optimization tools (which he said were very user-friendly). This let them do things like reduce the propagation delay of a voltage comparator by about 35%.
  • At the CMP booth, Technical Director Kholdoun Torki said that requests for the 28nm FD-SOI PDK are coming in fast and furious. As you may recall reading in a previous blog, CMP is offering multi-project wafer runs of ST’s 28nm FD-SOI technology on Soitec wafers with Leti models. It’s the same ARM-core based technology that GF will be rolling out in high-volume. As of today, CMP’s gotten requests from over 50 institutions across the globe.

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