France's Soitec Group, the world's largest supplier of engineered substrates for the microelectronics industry, has entered into an agreement to supply silicon-on-insulator substrates to CSMC Technologies Corporation, a pure-play specialty analog foundry based in China.
Soitec is sampling SOI substrates for High Voltage and CMOS applications initially aimed at color plasma display panel driver integrated circuits and other mixed signal and analog applications.
SOI is a cost-optimized technology which is designed to increase device performance and reliability, while lowering power consumption.
CSMC is a leading pure-play specialty analog foundry in China providing fabless design houses and integrated device manufacturers with a wide range of manufacturing services. The company manufactures ICs and power discrete processes at production technology nodes ranging from 0.13 micron to 0.5 micron. CSMC ICs and power devices are utilized in a broad range of end market applications including consumer electronics, communications devices, and personal computers.
According to Soitec, designers of chips for analog and mixed signal applications are increasingly choosing SOI because it dielectrically isolates all the transistor devices from each other, thereby eliminating the danger of chip-killing "latch-up". It also minimizes current leakage, thereby saving energy at high operating temperatures. And, it enables very compact design, taking 40% less space than traditional pn-isolation technologies. For digital CMOS applications, SOI is reported to increase performance by up to 30% and to decreases power consumption by up to 50%.