2015 – Turning the Tables for FD-SOI, RF-SOI and More

If current momentum is any indication, 2015 will be the year the tables turn in favor of FD-SOI designs (with a big shout-out to IoT).  The RF-SOI juggernaut will continue cutting an enormous swath through the mobile market.   Attention to the exciting possibilities of monolithic 3D (M3D) technology (like Leti’s “CoolCube”) will continue to grow, and SOI-based power apps will continue their strong drive into automotive and other markets. More exciting apps in MEMS, NEMS, photonics and sensors will come over the horizon. Players in China will join the upper echelons of SOI-based design and manufacturing. And you’ll read about it all here in ASN.

Riding on the success of the Shanghai RF-SOI and FD-SOI workshops last fall, 2015’s getting off to a great start with free FD-SOI/RF-SOI workshops in Tokyo (23 January, just after ASP-DAC) and San Francisco (27 February just after ISSCC – click here to register).

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As of this writing, we just got the news that registrations for the Tokyo workshop had far exceeded expectations. There’s lots of excitement surrounding the prospect of the Sony presentation on their FD-SOI design experience, which we hear will be excellent.  Samsung is slotted for a full half-hour presentation on their FD-SOI offering.  There’ll be press coverage, and here at ASN we’ll be sure to bring you the full wrap-up.

ST and partners Leti, Soitec and IBM have long been leading the FD-SOI charge.  At IEDM ’14 last month, they showed us how the roadmap extends to 10nm. (If you missed that, click here to read about it.) Now we’re looking forward to hearing about those 28nm FD-SOI chips hitting the markets this year.

And with Samsung on board now for ST’s FD-SOI process, things are looking ever more interesting. Earlier this month, Samsung’s Kelvin Low (Senior Director, Foundry Marketing) noted in his blog that, “28FDSOI comes with a complete design ecosystem” (PDK, Library, IP, and DFM – click here to read about it). “Customers who are looking to manufacture faster, cooler, and simpler devices at 28nm should look no further – 28FDSOI is the ideal choice,” he concluded.

Kelvin will also be presenting in the who’s who line-up at the prestigious Electronic Design Process Symposium (aka EDPS, coming up at Monterey Beach, CA in April – click here for more info.) In fact, the lead session of this year’s EDPS is entitled “FinFET vs. FDSOI – Which is the Right One for Your Design?” We look forward to some lively discussions there!

We heard a lot of promising developments at the Semicon Europa Low-Power Conference in the fall (if you missed that ASN coverage, click here to read it).  Although they’ve been quiet in the press, at the conference it was clear that GloFo foundry guys are chomping at the bit.  To recap, Manfred Horstmann, Director of Products & Integration for GlobalFoundries in Dresden said that FD-SOI would be their focus for the next few years. They’re also calling it ET-SOI (for extremely thin), and he said it’s the right solution for SOCs, especially with back biasing. Plus, it’s good for the fab because they can leverage their existing tool park. Asked if they have customers lined up, he said yes – so we’ll look forward to hearing about them this year.

And finally, this April we’ll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of ASN. It’s hard to believe 10 years have sped by since we published our first edition. Thank you for your continued support.

With best wishes for a safe, happy, healthy and prosperous 2015.

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