UMC, ARM Partner to Deliver Comprehensive SOI Solutions for 65nm Technology

Jun 04, 2007

UMC and ARM today announced that a test chip built with ARM SOI (Silicon On Insulator) libraries was taped-out successfully on UMC's 65-nanometer (nm) SOI process. The test chip consists of a set of ARM physical IP that uses a standard cell library, an I/O library and a single-port SRAM memory compiler. This tape-out at UMC represents the next step towards mainstream adoption of nanometer SOI technology for improved speed and power in complex system on chips (SOCs).

Semico Research recognizes semiconductor chip performance is increasingly pushing the limits of bulk CMOS. "High-performance chips offer the best near-term opportunities for SOI. Portable products are rapidly evolving into high-performance audio and video platforms that can utilize the speed and power advantages offered by SOI technology. Likewise, high-performance computing, communications and network applications are ripe for SOI technology in the next few years," said Jim Feldhan, president of Semico Research. "Semico believes companies that invest in SOI at 65 and 45nm will be best positioned for market opportunities at 32nm. ARM and UMC's venture into SOI is a significant step. It represents the first strong commitment of a Taiwanese-based foundry to SOI technology and will provide fabless and IDM companies additional market choices."

While UMC has been developing SOI technology for many years, this particular advance began in January 2006, when UMC started a strategic partnership with Soisic. ARM has continued this partnership, after acquiring Soisic and partnering with Soitec in October 2006, and has begun to offer SOI libraries alongside its full range of physical IP for bulk CMOS processes. To help UMC derive an SOI version of its existing bulk 65nm CMOS L65SP, ARM provided the specific modules required to develop and qualify the process, including design rules, electrical characterization of the devices and modeling for circuit simulation. The resulting L65SOI process features nominal 1V multi-threshold voltage thin gate oxide transistors, nominal 2.5V thick gate oxide transistors for I/O and a nominal 1V 0.62 square-micron 6-transistors SRAM bitcell. A full process design kit is now in place and ready for use by customers.

"We are very happy with the result of this partnership, which has allowed us to become the first foundry to develop and offer a complete 65nm SOI solution," stated Lee Chung, vice president of Corporate Marketing at UMC. "We leveraged ARM's strong SOI expertise from the design support side along with our volume production 65nm process to quickly develop and bring this SOI process to the market. We look forward to offering this competitive technology to our foundry customers."

The ARM standard cells used in the test chip support multi-VT and multi-power supply circuit designs, the I/O is 3.3V signal tolerant and the memory compiler is optimized for high-speed and low-power consumption. Initial circuit analysis indicates that the design saves up to 20 percent in area and 30 percent in power consumption, compared to a part produced to reach the same performance on bulk CMOS at 65nm. SOI technology also offers up to 28 percent speed boost with 10 percent power reduction over bulk CMOS.

"Strong demand from IDMs for the performance provided by SOI technology exists in the market today," said Tom Lantzsch, vice president, Marketing, Physical IP, ARM. "We anticipate that this new process, available through UMC, will enable leading fabless design companies to assess SOI technology and begin pilot projects. The next step will be to broaden the offerings, extend to more advanced process nodes and introduce a full foundry program similar to our offerings in the bulk CMOS space."

Source: UMC

Explore further: X-ray detector on plastic delivers medical imaging performance

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

mPhase will Report on Nanobattery

Feb 14, 2005

mPhase Technologies Inc. announced that its lead researcher, Victor Lifton, will present a paper, "Atoms to products - a nanostructured novel battery," at the Nano Science and Technology Institute Conference and Trade Show ...

Recommended for you

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

3 hours ago

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

3 hours ago

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Four questions about missing Malaysian plane answered

3 hours ago

Travelers at Asian airports have asked questions about the March 8 disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 while en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. Here are some of them, followed by answers.

Android gains in US, basic phones almost extinct

16 hours ago

The Google Android platform grabbed the majority of mobile phones in the US market in early 2014, as consumers all but abandoned non-smartphone handsets, a survey showed Friday.

User comments : 0

More news stories

Health care site flagged in Heartbleed review

People with accounts on the enrollment website for President Barack Obama's signature health care law are being told to change their passwords following an administration-wide review of the government's vulnerability to the ...

Airbnb rental site raises $450 mn

Online lodging listings website Airbnb inked a $450 million funding deal with investors led by TPG, a source close to the matter said Friday.

Under some LED bulbs whites aren't 'whiter than white'

For years, companies have been adding whiteners to laundry detergent, paints, plastics, paper and fabrics to make whites look "whiter than white," but now, with a switch away from incandescent and fluorescent lighting, different ...