Soitec announces substrate breakthrough for 3D image sensing devices

Soitec, a designer and manufacturer of semiconductor materials for the electronics industry, today announced the latest generation of silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates in its Imager-SOI product line designed specifically for fabricating front-side imagers for near-infrared (NIR) applications including advanced 3D image sensors. The new SOI wafers from Soitec are now available in large volumes with high maturity to meet the needs of customers in the growing market for 3D cameras used in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), facial-recognition security systems, advanced human/machine interfaces and other emerging applications.

“Our newest Imager-SOI substrates represent a major achievement for our company and a smart way to increase performance in NIR spectrum domain, accelerating new applications in the growing 3D imaging and sensing markets,” said Christophe Maleville, executive vice president of the Digital Electronics Business Unit at Soitec. “Innovative sensor design on SOI is achieved by leveraging our advanced know-how in ultrathin material layer transfer and our extensive manufacturing experience.”

The new SOI substrate makes it possible to simply extend the operating range of high resolution silicon based CMOS image sensors into the NIR spectrum. This optimized version of SOI substrate greatly improves the signal to noise ratio in the NIR spectrum.

The market for 3D imaging and sensing devices is forecast to grow at a CAGR of 37.7 percent over the next five years and reach US$9 billion in sales by 2022, according to Yole Développement. The market research and consulting firm predicts that 2018 will likely see a massive influx of products, with the first applications in mobile electronics and computing.*

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