Soitec says SOI will help semi/MEMS tackle energy challenges

August 20, 2007 — The Soitec Group, supplier of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers and other engineered substrates, says it is intensifying its focus to ensure that the low-power advantages of SOI are accessible to semiconductor companies grappling energy consumption, which has become a key design criteria.

“The era where speed alone was paramount to leading-edge semiconductor manufacturers has been replaced with one where power-related environmental, energy costs and battery life concerns are also of critical importance,” said Andre-Jacques Auberton-Herve, president and CEO of Soitec.

With power concerns becoming more critical, companies that have traditionally looked at SOI as a high-speed logic technology are now increasingly considering adoption due to its energy consumption advantages over bulk silicon, Soitec says

Soitec says that SOI, as measured in revenue, now accounts for more than a third of the 300-mm logic market and continues to gain acceptance as the foundation for some of today’s most advanced microelectronic products. Recent industry announcements highlight the emerging momentum around SOI outside of the ultra-high-speed logic market.

Among the most important SOI developments are the breakthrough embedded memory technologies using SOI, with cost efficiency of up to 40 percent; and UMC’s successful tape out of a test chip based on its new 65-nm SOI process using ARM SOI libraries. This means fabless design companies can now begin SOI pilot projects, including those looking to tap the power advantages of SOI for the portable consumer electronics market.

Soitec says that it is supporting closer industry cooperation, as well as new designer innovations that are transforming the low-power potential of SOI into a reality for companies throughout the IC value chain.

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