STMicroelectronics (NYSE: STM), a global semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, announces that Globalfoundaries, a worldwide leader in the technology roadmap race, has agreed to manufacture devices for ST using ST’s proprietary Fully Depleted Silicon-on-Insulator (FD-SOI) technology in both the 28nm and 20nm nodes.
The high-volume and timely availability of ST’s FD-SOI devices is essential in quenching the market’s appetite for smart phones and tablets that can handle all their stunning graphics, multimedia and high-speed broadband connectivity without sacrificing battery life.
Multimedia convergence applications require technologies capable of coupling high performance with exceptional energy efficiency. With shrinking geometries, conventional transistors are becoming unable to offer optimal performance without draining battery life or raising temperatures beyond safe limits; the solution is the adoption of fully depleted transistors, capable of combining high peak performance, low active power across all use cases (retaining good performance at reduced power supply), and low stand-by power.
ST’s planar FD-SOI technology constitutes a cost-effective solution, allowing the Company to offer fully depleted devices at the 28nm node, well in advance of others in the industry. ST has increased its FD-SOI sourcing capacity by complementing its internal manufacturing in Crolles, France with the industrial capacity of GLOBALFOUNDRIES. The 28nm FD-SOI generation, currently in the industrialization phase, is scheduled to be available for prototyping by July 2012 and the next node, the 20nm FD-SOI generation, is currently under development and is scheduled to be ready for prototyping by Q3 2013.
ST FD-SOI technology has already been selected by ST-Ericsson for its use in future mobile platforms, which will enable enhanced performance from the ST-Ericsson NovaThor™ platform with much less battery usage – as much as 35 percent lower power consumption at maximum performance.
ST plans to open access to its FD-SOI technology to GLOBALFOUNDRIES’s other customers, giving them the possibility to develop products with the most advanced technology available at both the 28nm and 20nm nodes.
“ST has demonstrated, with its partners, the significant performance and power advantages of FD-SOI over conventional technologies,” said Joel Hartmann, STMicroelectronics Corporate VP, Front End Manufacturing and Process R&D, Digital Sector. “FD-SOI is ideally suited for wireless and tablet applications, where it provides fully-depleted transistor benefits using conventional planar technology, and this arrangement with GLOBALFOUNDRIES ensures our customers will have a secure source of supply.”
Building upon Hartmann’s statement, Philippe Magarshack Corporate VP, Design Enablement and Services, added, “Porting Libraries and Physical IPs from 28nm Bulk CMOS to 28nm FD-SOI is straightforward, and designing digital SoCs with conventional CAD tools and methods in FD-SOI is identical to Bulk, due to the absence of MOS-history-effect. In addition, FD-SOI can be used for either extreme performance or very low leakage on the same silicon, by biasing dynamically the substrate of the circuit. Finally, FD-SOI can operate at significant performance at low voltage with superior energy efficiency versus Bulk CMOS.”
“Today’s announcement demonstrates the importance of collaboration in delivering innovative solutions on leading-edge technologies,” said Gregg Bartlett, Chief Technology Officer of GLOBALFOUNDRIES. “We have a longstanding partnership with ST spanning joint R&D and manufacturing, as well as an unmatched heritage of expertise in SOI technology. We’re pleased to be working with ST to bring this next generation of SOI technology to market and enable continued momentum in the mobile revolution.”