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ST ready to roll out 28nm FDSOI

Posted: 13 Dec 2012 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:28nm FDSOI? bulk planar CMOS? FinFET? NovaThor IC? I/O cells?

STMicroelectronics recently revealed that its 28nm fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FDSOI) will be available for pre-production from its Crolles 300mm wafer facility.

ST has boasted that the FDSOI planar process holds advantages over other manufacturing process variants, such as bulk planar CMOS and FinFET CMOS in terms of trade-offs between performance, power consumption and manufacturability. The company was due to begin prototyping 28nm FDSOI in July 2012 with 20nm FDSOI due to be ready for prototyping in 3Q13.

In addition, ST has a licensing agreement with foundry Globalfoundries Inc. to be a FDSOI production and to open up the process to more customers. (see Globalfoundries ready to roll out FinFET wafers)

ST's FDSOI technology platform includes standard cells, memory generators, I/O cells and specific circuit blocks for analogue, mixed-signal and high-speed interfaces licensable as intellectual property. The technology has been selected by ST-Ericsson for use in future mobile equipment platforms.

"By bringing FDSOI technology to manufacturing readiness, ST is again positioning itself as an innovator and leader in semiconductor technology development and manufacturing," said Jean-Marc Chery, chief technology and manufacturing officer of STMicroelectronics, in a statement. "Post-processing wafer testing has allowed us to prove the significant performance and power advantages of FDSOI over conventional technologies, building a cost-effective industrial solution that is available from the 28nm node."

FDSOI can operate at low voltage with "superior energy efficiency" compared with bulk CMOS, ST claimed.

Chery said that ST has performed measurements on a multi-core sub-system in an ST-Ericsson NovaThor IC that combines base band modem and application processor. The sub-system is capable of operating at 800MHz clock frequency at 0.6V but can also operate at 2.5GHz clock frequency at higher voltage, ST said. This demonstrates an extended dynamic voltage and frequency scaling (DVFS) regime.

FDSOI enables production of highly energy-efficient devices, with the use of dynamic body-bias allowing an instant switch to high-performance mode when needed and a return to reduced-leakage state for the rest of the time.

- Peter Clarke
??EE Times

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