Following the Company’s December announcement of the successful manufacturing of System on Chip (SoC) integrated circuits, ST announced that application-processor engine devices manufactured at the Company’s Crolles, France fab were capable of operating at 3GHz with even greater power efficiency at a given operating frequency than alternate technologies.
Moore’s Law, which observes that the number of transistors on a chip doubled about every two years, has driven the semiconductor industry over the past 50 years to shrink the size of the transistors, which are essentially miniature on/off switches. The increased density from these size reductions has given consumers the explosion of new and more exciting features at lower-cost, which are also able to operate at clock speeds that allow phones to respond to specific keypad, touchpad or voice commands.
FD-SOI technology is a major breakthrough in the pursuit of miniaturisation of electronic circuits, and the achievement of 3GHz operating speed for an application-processor engine presages the adoption of FD-SOI in portable equipment, digital still cameras, gaming and ASICs for a range of applications. Among all next-generation process technologies, FD-SOI alone has proven its ability to meet industry’s high performance and low power demands that are vital to delivering graphics and multimedia without sacrificing battery life.
ST has found porting libraries and physical IPs from 28nm Bulk CMOS to 28nm FD-SOI to be straightforward, and the process of designing digital SoCs with conventional CAD tools and methods in FD-SOI to be identical to Bulk, due to the absence of MOS-history-effect. FD-SOI enables production of highly energy-efficient devices, with the dynamic body-bias allowing instant switch to high-performance mode when needed and return to a very-low-leakage state for the rest of the time.
Finally, FD-SOI can operate at significant performance at low voltage with superior energy efficiency versus Bulk CMOS.