SOI Industry Consortium Announces FD-SOI Technology Offers Substantial Power Advantages for Next-generation Mobile and Consumer Applications

By The Soi Industry Consortium, PRNE
Thursday, February 10, 2011

FD-SOI Reduces Power Consumption and Significantly Improves Performance at a Competitive Cost

BOSTON, February 11, 2011 - The SOI Industry Consortium today announced results of an assessment and
characterization of Fully-Depleted Silicon-on-Insulator (FD-SOI) technology,
demonstrating that this advanced CMOS silicon technology is well suited to
address the increasing low-power, high-performance requirements for mobile
and consumer applications. A joint collaboration between Consortium
members-ARM, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, IBM, STMicroelectronics, Soitec, and
CEA-Leti-has demonstrated key benefits of planar FD-SOI technology for these
applications based on an ARM processor. Planar FD-SOI technology enables
substantial improvements in performance and power consumption for
next-generation mobile devices, delivering high-performance applications with
rich multimedia and communications functionality, reduced power consumption
and improved battery life.

As SoC designs increase in complexity to deliver the enhanced features
required by today's mobile consumer, designers face the challenge of
continuing to reduce the voltage while maintaining the stability of the SRAM
bit-cells. Early benchmarks on FD-SOI technology demonstrate the ability to
reduce the SRAM operating voltage by 100-150mV, thereby reducing memory power
consumption up to 40 percent while maintaining the stability of the SRAM.

Using an ARM Cortex(TM) processor as a prototyping vehicle, a team of SOI
Industry Consortium members demonstrated that planar FD-SOI technology
enables designers to continue to decrease the voltage to reduce the overall
power, while maintaining system performance.

The inherent benefits of FD-SOI can also significantly improve system
performance as you transition from generation to generation. Traditionally,
low-power manufacturing technology processes from one generation node to
another yield a performance gain ranging from 20 percent to 30 percent. This
assessment indicates that when the same transition also includes FD-SOI
technology an additional 80 percent gain can be achieved beyond the
traditional increase. This level of improvement can enable higher-performance
handheld products while significantly reducing the overall system power,
which translates into a superior user experience.

FD-SOI also provides a compelling manufacturing advantage compared to
other potential solutions. Due to its advanced starting substrate, FD-SOI
wafer processing is simpler for the chip manufacturer. The elimination of a
considerable number of mask layers during transistor-formation processing
drives simpler manufacturing process flow, and thereby a cost-efficient
approach to further shrinking CMOS transistors.

"Through our collaboration, Consortium members have demonstrated the
advantages of FD-SOI for mobile and consumer applications," said Horacio
, Executive Director of the SOI Industry Consortium. "FD-SOI is a great
option to improve the key metrics for mobile markets: power, frequency,
manufacturability and most importantly cost efficiency."

"This implementation indicates that FD-SOI technology is an attractive
alternative for those designing SoCs for advanced mobile devices," said Simon
, Executive Vice President and General Manager, ARM, Physical IP
Division. "It also demonstrates a significant opportunity for our customers
to produce leading low-power, high-performance consumer devices, while
potentially lowering their system cost."

"FD-SOI represents a tremendous technology opportunity for low-power
mobile designs," said Dr. Suresh Venkatesan, Vice President, Technology
Development, GLOBALFOUNDRIES. "FD-SOI offers a number of potential benefits
through simplified manufacturing integration and a compelling power and
frequency proposition."

SOI, recognized as a green semiconductor technology, has been in
high-volume manufacturing for over a decade, enabling high-performance
computing, gaming and communications products, with hundreds of millions of
SOI chips shipped. FD-SOI also allows for full design re-usability: all
established design tools and methodologies are fully implementable. SOI wafer
manufacturers have affirmed that the ultra-thin SOI wafers needed for FD-SOI
meet all specifications and are ready for high-volume manufacturing.

"As the Chairman of the SOI Consortium, I am extremely excited about the
potential that the FD-SOI technology can bring to the industry. The testing
and modeling to date would indicate that FD-SOI offers an ideal combination
to achieve ultra-low-power, high-performance and cost-effective
manufacturability attributes. The consortium members are all working together
on the development and technology evaluations, with assistance from process
R&D, IP design, manufacturing members and the substrate suppliers," said
Michael Cadigan, Chairman of the SOI Industry Consortium and General Manager,
IBM Microelectronics, Systems & Technology Group.

SOI Consortium Executives will be available to discuss the results at the
Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, 14-17 February 2011. Please contact
Camille Darnaud-Dufour, or Horacio
, to arrange an appointment.

About the SOI Industry Consortium:

The SOI Industry Consortium is chartered with accelerating
silicon-on-insulator (SOI) innovation into broad markets by promoting the
benefits of SOI technology and reducing the barriers to adoption.
Representing innovation leaders from the entire electronics industry
infrastructure, current SOI Industry Consortium members include: AMD, Applied
Materials, ARM, BroadPak, Cadence Design Systems, CEA-Leti, FEI, Freescale
Semiconductor, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, IBM, IMEC, Infotech,, Kanazawa Institute of
Technology , KLA-Tencor, MEMC, Mentor Graphics, MIT Lincoln Laboratories,
Nvidia, Ritsumeikan University, Samsung, Semico, SEH Europe, Soitec, Stanford
, STMicroelectronics, Synopsys, Tyndall Institute, University of
, University Catholique de Louvain, UMC and Varian.
Membership is open to all companies and institutions throughout the
electronics industry. For more information, please visit

Legal Note

The views and opinions expressed by the SOI Industry Consortium through
officers in the SOI Industry Consortium or in this presentation or other
communication vehicles are not necessarily representative of the views and
opinions of individual members. Officers of the SOI Industry Consortium
speaking on behalf of the Consortium should not be considered to be speaking
for the member company or companies they are associated with, but rather as
representing the views of the SOI Industry Consortium. Views and opinions are
also subject to change without notice, and the SOI Industry Consortium
assumes no obligation to update the information in this communication or
accompanying discussions.

    Press Contact (all time zones):
    Camille Darnaud-Dufour
    Mobile : +33-(0)-6-79-49-51-43
    Email :

Press Contact (all time zones): Camille Darnaud-Dufour, Mobile : +33-(0)-6-79-49-51-43,
Email : camille.darnaud-dufour at

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