Electronics & Computers

Soitec Supplying SOI substrates to CSMC

March 17, 2010

The substrates will be used for display and other applications; the company cites high interest and support in China for SOI projects.

SEMICON CHINA, Shanghai -- The Soitec Group (Euronext Paris), the world's leading supplier of engineered substrates for the microelectronics industry, announced that the company has entered into an agreement to supply silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates to CSMC Technologies Corporation ("CSMC"), a leading pure-play specialty analog foundry based in China. Soitec is sampling SOI substrates for High Voltage (HV) and CMOS applications initially aimed at color plasma display panel (PDP) driver integrated circuits (ICs) and other mixed signal and analog applications. The company is seeing high levels of interest and support in China for SOI projects.

SOI is a cost-optimized technology increasing device performance and reliability, while lowering power consumption. These advantages are an excellent complement to consumer electronics markets, as well as continued expansion into worldwide markets for automotive, RF/wireless, high-voltage, power management, photonics, imaging, lighting and more.

"With this agreement, CSMC will use Soitec's wafers on several major SOI projects for High Voltage and CMOS technology. We believe the partnership with Soitec will help us to provide a more cost-effective solution to our customers," said Filian Wu, VP of Analog Process Technology Development Center.

"As the world's leader in SOI substrates, we are very pleased to collaborate with CSMC and will support their plans to ramp up SOI based products," said Paul Boudre, Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the Soitec Group. "Over the last two years, we have experienced a strong acceleration of interest in SOI substrates in China mainly by the majority of the largest local foundries and institutes. Today these development projects are moving to first production ramp up and we expect a significant growth of SOI based products in China in the coming years."

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 µm to 0.5 µm. CSMC ICs and power devices are utilized in a broad range of end market applications including consumer electronics, communications devices, personal computers and more.

Designers of chips for leading analog and mixed signal applications are increasingly choosing SOI in large part 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 increases performance by up to 30% and decreases power consumption by up to 50%.

At Semicon China, March 16-18 in Shanghai, visit Soitec in booth #3755 in Hall W3.

About the Soitec Group
The Soitec Group is the world's leading innovator and provider of the engineered substrate solutions that serve as the foundation for today's most advanced microelectronic products. The group leverages its proprietary Smart Cut technology to engineer new substrate solutions, such as silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers, which became the first high-volume application for this proprietary technology. Since then, SOI has emerged as the material platform of the future, enabling the production of higher performing, faster chips that consume less power.

Today, Soitec produces more than 80 percent of the world's SOI wafers. Headquartered in Bernin, France, with two high-volume fabs on-site, Soitec has offices throughout the United States, Japan and Taiwan, and a new production site in Singapore.

Three other divisions, Picogiga International, Tracit Technologies and Concentrix Solar, complete the Soitec Group. Picogiga delivers advanced substrates solutions, including III-V epiwafers and gallium nitride (GaN) wafers, to the compound material world for the manufacture of high-frequency electronics and other optoelectronic devices. Tracit, on the other hand, provides thin-film layer transfer technologies used to manufacture advanced substrates for power ICs and Microsystems, as well as generic circuit transfer technology, Smart Stacking for applications such as image sensors and 3D-integration. In December 2009, Soitec acquired 80% of Concentrix Solar, the leading provider of concentrated photovoltaic (CPV) solar systems for the industrial production of energy. With this acquisition, Soitec is entering the fast-growing solar industry; capturing value through the system level. Shares of the Soitec Group are listed on Euronext Paris.

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