A Look at What's Behind the New Generation of Semiconductors

A Primer on FD-SOI from the SOI Industry Consortium

Boston, June 13, 2012 – Earlier this week STMicroelectronics announced that it would be working with GlobalFoundries to mass produce a new generation of semiconductors on STMicroelectronics’ Fully Depleted Silicon on Insulator (FD-SOI) technology.  The news comes with some staggering figures – FD-SOI chips offer optimal performance and draw 35 percent less power than similar chips made from traditional materials.  As part of the announcement, STMicroelectronics indicated that it “plans to open access to its FD-SOI technology to GlobalFoundries’ other customers.”  So, the silicon industry could eventually see FD-SOI chips from a variety of semiconductor designers around the world. 

The SOI Industry Consortium views this as great news, and we believe that it will enlarge the ecosystem around FD-SOI materials, enabling the greater industry to move forward in developing a new generation of faster, more power-efficient processors. The end result will a be new generation of smart phones and other mobile computing devices that handle graphics, multimedia, complex computing and high-speed broadband with power-sipping ease. 

But what exactly is FD-SOI and why is it important?  In the linked illustrations, we’ve enlisted our graphics team to help explain the technology and how it stacks up to traditional silicon materials.

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, Altera Corp., ARM, Cadence Design Systems, CEA-Léti, FEI, 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 University, STMicroelectronics, Synopsys, Tyndall Institute, University of California-Berkeley, University Catholique de Louvain and UMC. Membership is open to all companies and institutions throughout the electronics industry.

For more information, please visit www.soiconsortium.org