Synopsys-GF-Qualcomm Panel, Leti/Fraunhofer Team Up – FD-SOI Center Stage at Leti Innovation Days


Before summer’s no more than a twinkle in our eyes, let’s take a moment to catch up on a key event where FD-SOI took center stage: Leti Innovation Days. French research powerhouse Leti was celebrating 50 years of innovation, so it was a real gala event.

FD-SOI and other SOI technologies were seen and heard throughout the presentations and in the exhibition spaces. But there were a couple of things that were especially interesting that I’ll cover here in ASN. In particular, a panel discussion with GF, Synopsys and Qualcomm; and the big announcement from Leti and Fraunhofer supporting continued FD-SOI development.

(There were also some great info about body biasing in FD-SOI, but we’ll save that for a future post.)

The Panel & More

A session on Micro-nano Pathfinding and the Digital Revolution featured a fascinating panel discussion on Future Applications and New Technologies. As Rajesh Pankaj from Qualcomm, Alain Mutricy from GF and Antun Domic from Synopsys discussed the prospects, FD-SOI quickly took center stage.

FD-SOI took center stage at this Leti Innovation Days 2017 Panel Discussion. Left to right: Antun Domic, CTO, Synopsys; Alain Mutricy, GF’s SVP, Product Management Group; Rajesh Pankaj, Qualcomm’s SVP Corporate R&D.

Here are some FD-SOI observations from GF’s Alain Mutricy:

  • It’s planar, so it’s not hard to design in.

  • It’s the only technology that can get down to 0.4V, and it has the lowest leakage/cell. That will be key for all mainstream applications (except high-end servers) for at least a decade or two.

  • 12 FDX with forward body bias (FBB) will get 7nm FinFET performance.

  • They’re looking forward to broad FD-SOI adoption. It will enable the next wave of technology and mobile devices.

Synopsys’ Antun Domic noted that:

  • Currently, 50% of silicon area comes from just 3 or 4% of designs. FD-SOI makes design simpler, so the EDA companies are looking for it to open the door to more designs.

  • From a design perspective, three thresholds was standard, but that’s not enough. Place and route could stretch to 10 or 15 corners. FD-SOI simplifies tool flow and cuts mask costs. It’s less complicated than you think.

That tech session, btw, began with an excellent testimonial by Leti partner, Soitec. (Remember: the technological innovation that enabled modern SOI wafers came out of Leti and was industrialized by Soitec.) Check out the snapshot below to get an idea of all the areas that SOI-based technologies address.

Soitec SVP Christophe Maleville shows the many product lines of SOI substrates.

Leti, Fraunhofer & FD-SOI

The big piece of news to come out of Leti Days is that Leti is teaming up with Fraunhofer to “…strengthen microelectronics innovation in France and Germany” (read the press release here). The agreement was signed by Leti CEO Marie Semeria and Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics Chairman Hubert Lakner at an official ceremony. A lively the press conference followed. Prof. Lakner emphasized that they are working on a common European roadmap, with a clear plan for collaboration on FD-SOI. Europe, he said, is a good idea, and working together, France and Germany can do a lot for industry. For FD-SOI, Leti is focused on the front-end, and Fraunhofer is working on the back-end.

Working together, they can elevate pillars like FD-SOI from the country level to the European level, noted Dr. Semeria. And that puts them in a more elevated position for EC funding initiatives such as an upcoming IPCEI – which stands for Important Project of Common European Interest.

Leti CEO Marie Semeria and Fraunhofer Group for Microelectronics Chairman Hubert Lakner announced “new collaboration to develop innovative, next-generation microelectronics technologies to spur innovation in their countries and strengthen European strategic and economic sovereignty.” (photo credit: Pierre Jayet)

Initially, however, the focus will be on extending CMOS and More-than-Moore technologies to enable next-generation components for applications in IoT, augmented reality, automotive, health, aeronautics and other sectors, as well as systems to support French and German industries. A second phase extending to other partners and countries is possible. We’ll keep you posted.

In closing, I’m sure you’ll all join me in extending hearty congratulations to Leti on their 50th anniversary. And here’s to their next 50 years of innovation – can you imagine what that might bring? It rather boggles the mind, doesn’t it?

 

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