Silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers are quickly making inroads into IC manufacturing, especially for chips destined for high-speed and/or low-power applications. Soitec has been manufacturing SOI wafers for more than ten years using our patented Smart Cut� splitting and bonding technology. With our first high-volume factory (Bernin 1) in production since 1999 and our 300 mm factory in production since 2003, we have gained considerable manufacturing expertise that is relevant not only to us, but also to our customers.
In this article, we’ll provide an introduction to SOI and related engineered substrates, and then examine some of the manufacturing challenges we have addressed to minimize defects and maximize yield. Finally, we will take a look at the yield challenges for upcoming generations of engineered substrates.