OKI: The Industry’s Commercial FD-SOI Pioneer
Posted date : May 14, 2008

Since the beginning of the decade, OKI has led the world in the mass production of low-power FD-SOI LSIs for personal and mobile markets.

While the rest of the industry contemplates moving from partially depleted (PD) to fully depleted (FD) SOI, OKI Electric Industry Company is well ahead of the pack. With an early focus on performance combined with low-voltage operation, OKI’s first big successes with its FD-SOI technology was in real-time clock LSIs just after the turn of the millennium.

Best known as the chips that enable Casio’s famous atomic-solar G-shock watches, OKI’s real-time clocks (RTC) are finding their way into a wide range of consumer products. These clocks have an RF (“radio”) function that enables them to automatically synchronize several times a day with official atomic clocks around the world.

With the rise of electronic commerce and associated date/time stamping of transactions, OKI notes that having tiny, accurate, super-low power clock chips suitable for mobile devices is not just a matter a convenience: it’s a matter of security. Products that require accurate clocks include mobile devices, household appliances, office equipment, and clocks and meters throughout the embedded world.

The company continues to leverage its SOI expertise in a broadening range of applications for consumer markets. As noted last spring by Masahiko Morioka, President of OKI’s Silicon Solutions, “To contribute to bringing down our customer’s product size, OKI will leverage its SOI-CMOS technology and enhance its product line up with high-performance, low current power, low voltage characteristics.”

OKI’s SOI Milestones


OKI ships low-power SOI LSIs, the industry’s first commercial application of the technology for personal and mobile communication products.


OKI announces development of FD-SOI technology. The custom mobile test device LSI intregrates a microcontroller unit, power circuits, memory and LCD driver components onto a single chip, reducing power consumption to one-fifth of previous requirements.


OKI ships world’s first commercial, FD-SOI LSIs. This enables Casio to launch a new line of high-functionality solar-powered watches. Today, OKI FD-SOI covers a wide range of CASIO atomic-solar watches.


OKI develops the industry’s first longwave Time Code Receiver LSI (the ML6190A), using FD SOI-CMOS technology on an ultrathin top silicon layer (rather than the traditional bipolar or compound solutions) . The chip realizes high sensitivity radio reception and a one-third or better reduction in power consumption.


OKI announces the industry’s first single chip LSI combining signal receiver, decoder and real time clock (RTC) functions (the FDSOI based ML6191).


OKI announces its first SOI MEMs product, the world’s thinnest, ultra small tri-axis accelerometer module, the ML8950. Targeting the mobile phone, mobile equipment, HDD and entertainment markets, volume ramps worldwide the following year.


OKI announces the industry’s first non-doped body and non-overlap FD-SOI transistor structure, which reduces standby power consumption by over 90%.


OKI announces sampling of the new RTC ICs, with the world’s lowest current consumption at just 0.15µA. The “ML9073/ ML9074” series, targeted at mobile devices and audiovisual equipment, has 1.5-fold longer battery life than conventional chips.


OKI announces volume shipments of the ML8511, the world’s first SOI-based UV sensor IC. It integrates a UV light-receiving element and an analog output circuit into a single chip. OKI plans to ship over 100 thousand chips to Hong Kong and the Chinese markets for skin protection products in the first year.

OKI ML9074 (Courtesy: OKI Electric)

Resource Reminder

Fully-Depleted SOI CMOS Circuits and Technology for Ultralow-Power Applications

31 of Japan’s leading experts explain FD-SOI design for ultra-low-power applications.

Editors: Prof. Takayasu Sakurai (U. Tokyo); Prof. Akira Matsuzawa (Tokyo Institute of Technology); Dr. Takakuni Douseki (NTT). In English. Publisher: Springer Science+Business Media. ISBN: 978-0-387-29217-5.

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