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After STMicroelectronics, Samsung and GlobalFoundries among the foundries, after Soitec and Shin-Etsu among the wafers manufacturers, after the European Union with its EUROSERVER Project, and after Sony, three others big companies have decided to use the 28nm FD-SOI node.



At the FD-SOI Workshop (greatly advertised by Samsung), held in San Francisco on February 27, Cisco, Freescale and Ciena have told that they will use FD-SOI nodes for some of their upcoming products. Guntram Wolski, Director of Hardware (ASIC) Engineering Division at Cisco, said a few words in praise of the FD-SOI technology, as EETimes reports: “Guntram Wolski, Cisco’s principal engineer managing implementation and physical design, said on the panel that he sees value in FD-SOI, since it offers only a quarter of the leakage in bulk performance, allows a simpler cooling system and provides form-factor flexibility”. Also, Wolski clarifies this choice: “Power was so low with this device we were able to kill another program and subsume its function into this ASIC -- that was powerful from an economic point of view”.

Likewise, Geoff Lees, VP of Freescale and General Manager of Microcontrollers Division, has confirmed that his company will use FD-SOI nodes to produce the next IoT controller iMX7: “While i.MX 6 processors are built on a 40nm process, the next-generation i.MX 7 will be 28nm FD-SOI”.

Naim Ben-Hamida, General Manager at Ciena, has confirmed the words of Cisco and Freescale spokespersons: “Transistor performance was up to 30% better on FD-SOI than bulk. The process also used fewer masks, had better yields and the same metal stack as bulk”.

We can say that FD-SOI technology is gaining market share, slowly but without hesitation. Two years ago a lot of journalists and readers have guessed that the FD-SOI technology is Dead on Arrive, but now we can say that FD-SOI has a shiny future. Infact, Giorgio Cesana, Marketing Director at STMicroelectronics, hopes that the 14nm variant of FD-SOI will be ready before the end of the year.

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Gian Maria Forni
Autore: Gian Maria Forni
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Esperto di mercati e CPU
Sebbene sia laureato in Lettere e Filosofia, indirizzo Storia Contemporanea, e scriva per quotidiani e riviste di tale settore, ha sempre avuto la passione per l'informatica ed ha collaborato quale moderatore in importanti forum del settore
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