LONDON Ė STMicroelectronics has announced that its 28-nm fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FDSOI) is available for pre-production from its Crolles 300-mm wafer facility.
The FDSOI planar process is claimed to have 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. ST was due to begin prototyping 28-nm FDSOI in July 2012 with 20-nm FDSOI due to be ready for prototyping in 3Q13. In addition, ST has a licensing agreement with foundry Globalfoundries Inc. (Milpitas, Calif.) to be a FDSOI production and to open up the process to more customers.
ST's announcement coincides with a workshop on FDSOI being held in San Francisco alongside the International Electron Devices Meeting.
ST's FDSOI technology platform includes standard cells, memory generators, I/O cells and specific circuit blocks for analog, 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 28-nm 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 subsystem in an ST-Ericsson NovaThor IC that combines baseband modem and application processor. The subsystem is capable of operating at 800-MHz clock frequency at 0.6 volts but can also operate at 2.5-GHz 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.
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