Name a top Silicon Valley company, and you’ll probably find it on the attendance list of the upcoming FD-SOI & RF-SOI Forum in San Francisco. At the time of this posting, people from over 65 companies are among the hundreds who’ve signed up for this free, all-day event.
If you haven’t yet, you can still sign up at the SOI Consortium Website – just click here to go there. This event’s being sponsored by ARM, GlobalFoundries, ST, Synopsys, SunEdison, SEH and Soitec. Cadence, Ciena, GlobalFoundries, IBM, IMEC, Samsung, STMicroelectronics, Synopsys and VeriSilicon will present compelling solutions about FD-SOI and RF-SOI technologies, including competitive comparisons and product results.
Here’s a preview of the day. The morning’s devoted to FD-SOI, and the afternoon’s all about RF-SOI. Plus, there’s a (yes, free!) lunch, and a chance to network during the coffee breaks and over wine & cheese at the end of the day.
FD-SOI foundry offer
FD-SOI IP offer
FD-SOI design experience
Advantages and opportunities when designing with FD-SOI — Moderator: Dan Nenni, SemiWiki
If you’re in San Francisco for ISSCC (22-26 February), the FD-SOI/RF-SOI is a seven-minute walk up the street the next day. But if you can’t get to SF, don’t worry – you’ll get summaries of all the talks here at ASN. Access to the complete presentations will be freely available on the SOI Consortium website a few days later.
This workshop is part of a continuing series organized by the SOI Consortium. If you missed the recent ASN coverage of the event in Shanghai this fall, you can read about the FD-SOI part here, and the RF-SOI part here. For coverage of the Tokyo event in December, click here to read about the big Sony FD-SOI presentation and EDA/IP presentations and more here, and the Samsung, ST and other presentations here. You can also download most any of the presentations from all of the workshops that have been held over the last five years here.
For the SF event – here’s the key information:
FD-SOI and RF-SOI Forum
A dozen excellent presentations on FD-SOI and RF-SOI were made by industry leaders at the recent workshop in Tokyo. Here in part 1 of ASN’s coverage, we’ll take a quick look at the presentations by Samsung, ST, IBS, IBM and Lapis.
In part 2, we’ll look at Sony’s, as well as the presentations from the big EDA vendors and the IP and design houses.
All of the presentations are now freely available on the SOI Consortium website (click here for the complete listing).
28FD-SOI: cost effective low power solution for long lived 28nm node by Yongjoo Jeon, Principle Engineer in Foundry Marketing, Samsung
This presentation makes the point that cost and power are equally critical
factors in the long life foreseen for the 28nm node. (Samsung, of course, is offering ST’s FD-SOI technology on a foundry basis.) In particular, this presentation shows how FD-SOI is especially well-suited for low-power
IoT apps. (btw, Semiwiki just published an excellent analysis of this Samsung presentation – you can read it here.) The process was successfully qualified in September 2014.
FD-SOI advantages for applications and ecosystem by Kirk Ouellette, Director Digital Product Group, STMicroelectronics
As FD-SOI both improves power efficiency and brings high flexibility to SoC integration, this presentation points up the target app benefits:
RF-SOI: Redefining mobility through the Front End Module by Masashi Arimoto, Technical Executive, Mobile Platform, IBM Microelectronics Japan
In 2006, IBM started transforming a 200mm fab into a specialty foundry. RF-SOI and SiGe were key technologies for cell phone and WiFi front end modules (FEM). Mobile is key for driving the business of IBM: for infrastructure, for Cloud and for Big Data/analytics. Having shipped over 8 billion RF-SOI chips (>1300 tapeouts) to top mobile customers on its 7RF SOI technology, the company recently announced a new process: 7SW SOI, which packs 30% more performance into a 30% smaller space. They’re seeing ever stronger demand, which IoT will only increase. (Interesting to note that IBM also now sees 300mm FD-SOI as an opportunity for the heart and soul of the cell phone: the application processors.)
RF-SOI and FD-SOI Market Opportunities by Handel Jones, CEO, IBS
Industry guru Handel Jones (read his ASN pieces here) gets into the details of what IoT means in terms of chips, and where and when growth will be happening. Don’t miss his detailed slides on die and wafer cost for the various nodes of FD-SOI, bulk and FinFET (see slides 20-26) – FD-SOI comes out the clear winner in terms of cost benefits. He then explores the various RF segments.
ST H9SOI_FEM: 0.13µm RF-SOI Technology for Front End Module Integration by Flavio Benetti, DPG Group VP – Networking Products Division GM, STMicroelectronics
Starting with a review of RF trends, this presenation shows how evolutions in the LTE wireless standard for this high-growth market are driving RF Front End Modules (FEM) to unprecedented complexity. ST sees RF-SOI integration as the right answer to that complexity (RF-SOI is of course already the leading technology in smartphone RF switches.) Slide 7 (see illustration) shows the explosive growth in the total annual market (TAM) for RF-SOI wafers. ST’s H9SOI_FEM offering pushes FEM integration to new heights, integrating switching, power amps, antenna tuning, energy management, LNA and filtering, all with best-in-class performance. This is an area in which ST is offering high-capacity foundry services, handling billions of units/year. (ST did an excellent ASN article detailing H9SOI_FEM last year – if you missed it, click here to read it now.)
Development of X-ray Sensor with SOI Pixel Technology by Masao Okihara, Device Technology Development Division, Manufacturing Headquarters, LAPIS Semiconductor
This presentation gives on update of the ongoing and fascinating work by a major consortium developing a one-chip monolithic X-ray sensor device on FD-SOI (this was also covered in ASN when the project was first getting underway – you can read that piece here. Oki, which is now Lapis, is providing the foundry services).
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The next FD-SOI/RF-SOI full-day workshop will be held in San Francisco at the Palace Hotel on Friday February 27th 2015, the same week as ISSCC. A broad range of technology and design leaders from across the industry such as Cadence, Ciena, GlobalFoundries, IBM, IMEC, Samsung, STMicroelectronics, Synopsys and VeriSilicon will present compelling solutions in FD-SOI and RF-SOI technologies, including competitive comparisons and product results. Registration is mandatory, free and open to everyone – click here to go to the registration page on the SOI Consortium website. (Lunch will be offered to all the attendees.)
The recently announced IBM z13, which is billed as the world’s fastest microprocessor, is built on SOI (of course!) (read the press release here).
At the heart of the latest in the IBM z-series of mainframes, the chip is manufactured in 22nm SOI (partially depleted). IBM says it is 2X faster than the most common server processors, has 300 percent more memory, 100 percent more bandwidth and vector processing analytics to speed mobile transactions. As one of the most sophisticated computer systems ever built, the z13 is the first system able to process 2.5 billion transactions a day, enabling transaction analysis in “real time” to help prevent fraud as it is occurring, allowing financial institutions to halt the transaction before the consumer is impacted.
IBM says the z13 lowers the cost of running cloud. For compared environments, it is estimated that a z Systems cloud on a z13 will have a 32 percent lower total cost of ownership over three years than an x86 cloud and a 60 percent lower total cost of ownership over three years than a public cloud.
The z-series has been on SOI since it first launched in 2003.
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).
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.
There’s been a significant uptick in patents related to fully-depleted SOI, according to a new report by KnowMade (click here to get the report brochure). The report looks at both FD-SOI and SOI-FinFETs (both of which are fully depleted technologies). More than 740 patent families have been published to date, of which planar FD-SOI accounts for 340 families. Following a rush of activity about 10 years ago there was a dip, but activity over the last couple of years has once again been very strong.
The report provides a comprehensive overview, essential patent data for fully depleted SOI, plus a searchable database with links. It identifies more than 30 patent holders of FD-SOI related intellectual property, providing in-depth analysis of key technology segments and key players. “The major proponents of the FD-SOI technology have strong IP arms, but other unexpected players known as not supporting FDSOI [including TSMC and Intel] are also present,” notes the report.