Simon Yang, the CEO of XMC, a fast growing specialty foundry in China, gave an excellent presentation about FD-SOI at the SOI Consortium’s Technology Summit in Shanghai (Oct., 2013). The presentation is now available both through VLSI’s weSRCH site (click here) and through the SOI Consortium’s website (click here for this plus all the other Shanghai presentations). While noting that over half of the world’s ICs are going into China, and three-quarters of them are <65nm, Yang’s looking at ways to boost his 12” utilization.
He asks if FD-SOI can be part of the solution, noting that it is a simple way to gain entry into fully-depleted technologies: it is a mature planar CMOS process, is easily portable for existing bulk designs, and is a particularly good choice for mobile markets. Yang was formerly CTO of Chartered, which would indicate he’s familiar with SOI (pre-GloFo, Chartered produced PD-SOI chips for AMD).
While design houses in China want high performance and low power, they’ll go with whatever technology is good enough and cheap enough, he says. While he cites FD-SOI advantages, he also doesn’t pull any punches with respect to how he perceives the challenges, primarily with respect cost and ecosystem.