Monday, April 16, 2012

Soitec provides affordable paths to higher performance, lower-power processors for mobile and consumer devices

BERNIN, FRANCE & PEABODY, USA: With chip makers racing to develop the next generation of faster, more power-efficient processors - and the market demanding they do it more quickly than ever despite soaring development costs - Soitec announced a comprehensive product roadmap centered on fully depleted (FD) silicon technology starting at 28nm and extending down to the 10nm node.

FD is the solution identified by the industry to continue packing more and more performance into silicon chips for a compelling user experience. Soitec's FD product lines enable the most efficient implementation of fully depleted technology, allowing semiconductor manufacturers to deliver competitive products quicker and more affordably than alternative paths.

For the mobile market, this will result in innovative consumer devices that offer new user experiences such as augmented reality while requiring fewer battery charges. With today's announcement, Soitec offers the entire semiconductor ecosystem the means to accelerate the development and lower the cost of the high-performance and low-power processors that will drive future generations of mobile and consumer electronics, and is working with its partners to make this technology widely available to support industry demand.

"Each new generation of technology faces unique challenges, and we currently are at an inflection point where we cannot rely solely on traditional CMOS technology to solve them," said Handel Jones, founder and CEO of International Business Strategies. "If you look at the industry's technology migration path, you can see that everybody has fully depleted in their respective roadmaps. What Soitec is offering is a very attractive solution giving chip makers the means to reduce power consumption, increase performance and provide lower cost solutions."

The main challenge faced by the semiconductor industry today is a disappointing cost-benefit ratio, with limited gains in performance, power consumption and cost per transistor, despite increasingly high development costs. Because of these pressures, the semiconductor industry requires fully depleted solutions, and Soitec's FD products - which pre-integrate critical characteristics of the FD transistors - give chip makers the means to move to FD. With a comprehensive offer addressing both planar and three-dimensional (FinFET) transistor alternatives, Soitec's FD products efficiently enable greater cost optimization, performance and scalability for next-generation processor platforms.

"Smartphones and tablets are selling at an amazing pace, and consumers have become accustomed to a new and improved user experience every 12 to 18 months, which makes innovation around performance and battery life the most critical competitive advantage," said André-Jacques Auberton-Hervé, president and CEO of Soitec. "It's increasingly clear that conventional CMOS technology has run its course. To win this battle, industry players need a fresh approach that provides a path to overcome the limitations of current technology. Soitec has products available now that bring the advantages of next generation performance and energy efficiency today at the right economics providing chip makers the ability to bring their visions for future devices to life."

In the first implementation of these FD products from Soitec, STMicroelectronics and ST-Ericsson have announced they are working together, with Soitec, to develop next-generation mobile processors at 28nm. By using fully depleted transistor technology, ST-Ericsson expects to gain, for example, one additional day of smartphone battery life for the new processors.

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