Saturday, February 11, 2006


Technology Inspiration: SOI and Strained SOI

From Advanced Substrate News, No. 2, Summer 2005

Editorial, by Dr. Andre-Jacques Auberton-Herve, Chairman and CEO of The Soitec Group

Ten years ago, we were a handful of believers; now, SOI is an integral part of device optimization on the leading edge. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the high-performance microprocessor market. Advanced substrates, led by SOI, address the challenges of heat dissipation, power consumption, process integration and performance.

IBM’s SOI Power

Like our copper chips, SOI will accelerate the industry’s constant drive to create smaller, more powerful, less expensive electronic goods.” (Mike Attardo, General Manager, IBM Microelectronics)

Our decades-long commitment to pursuing and rapidly implementing technology breakthroughs like SOI and strained silicon is paving the way for a new generation of power savvy chips.” (Bernard S. Meyerson, IBM Fellow and chief technologist)

The 64-bit PowerPC 970FX announced just last year (2004), was the first in the industry to combine SOI, strained silicon and copper technologies in 90nm, 300mm production, no less.

AMD’s Momentum Building

AMD claims the title of being the first company to bring SOI to microprocessor production.

As AMD momentum grows in the enterprise and companies scramble to catch up, the company is extending its performance lead even further with the introduction of new multi-core AMD64 processor designs. These 90nm products also benefit strongly from AMD’s second generation of localized strain engineering, co-developed with IBM. The technology, which is commonly referred to as “dual stress liner” or DSL, works in concert with SOI to deliver a 24% boost in transistor speed with no increase in power.

Freescale’s Embedded High Performance

As of this year (2005), the company is shipping four new next-generation PowerQUICC III processors based on 90nm SOI and copper. Freescale says this enables the processors to deliver high performance with low power dissipation, bringing gigahertz-class performance to the enterprise networking, telecom transmission and switching, 3G wireless infrastructure, storage and high-end imaging markets.

SOI and sSOI Address MPU Clock Speed Challenge (by Jean-Marc Lemeil, Soitec)

IC makers need both local and global strained SOI to win the GHz race.
Strain and SOI lead to Faster, Cooler Transistors (by Randhir Thakur, Applied Materials, Inc.)

Key among the advanced technologies that contribute to faster transistor speeds with reduced leakage are strained silicon and silicon-on-insulator (SOI).

Professor’s Perspective (by Sorin Cristoloveanu, ENSERG, France)

The most fascinating application of Smart Cut is the material transformation: from SOI (silicon on SiO2) to SOI (semiconductor on insulator), Replacing the conventional silicon film by strained Si, SiGe, Ge, GaN, SiC, and so forth, opens revolutionary applications in microelectronics, nanoelectronics and optoelectronics. Additionally, the buried oxide can be substituted by a whole range of dielectrics. Quartz, glass and diamond are envisioned for transparent devices and MEMS. Buried alumina or aluminum nitride is expected to solve the problem of power dissipation in ultra-dense VLSI chips. We won’t need another decade to find these innovative Smart Cut enabled materials in the catalogue.

R&D Outlook (by Carlos Mazure, Soitec)

The high performance path will drive the most advanced substrates and material innovations. Engineered substrate solutions include ultra-thin (UT) SOI, mobility enhancing substrates like strained SOI (sSOI) in addition to local strain techniques, as well as improved thermal dissipation to reduce the impact of hot spot impact.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006


Min's Paper on Trapped Vibrations

Published in the February issue of IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics, and Frequency Control, this paper first reviews torsional vibrations in circular plates and then shows that the first-order torsional modes can be trapped within a circular stepped region. The theoretical finding was supported by experiments in a previous publication. Potential applications include torsional-mode resonators with ultrahigh quality factors for sensing applications, with a clear advantage over the conventional thickness-shear-mode resonators when working in contact with liquids. In collaboration with Texzec, Inc., we are exploring various structures (e.g., convex plates) and materials (e.g., polymers) and investigating the effect of liquids, both theoretically and experimentally.

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