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In-Depth Analysis Breaks Traditional Perception of SOI Cost

Phoenix, Arizona May 22, 2006 - Last year Semico touted silicon-on-insulator (SOI) as one of the most effective solutions to achieve the kind of performance and power required by chips today. As it currently remains, the added cost of the substrate material is one of the perceived challenges hindering widespread adoption.

Semico Research Corp. conducted an in-depth analysis of the impact of SOI wafers on the cost of operation, the cost of manufacturing and the ultimate cost of the end product. The results were contrary to popular belief.

“On a straight manufacturing cost basis, the 10-15% SOI cost-of-ownership (COO) figure does not tell the whole story,” said Joanne Itow, Managing Director of Manufacturing at Semico. “Moving further into the semiconductor manufacturing process, looking at the cost of SOI once the wafer is tested, diced and the good die packaged, the Semico analysis has found the SOI COO adds only 4-6% to the total manufacturing cost.”

Other factors improving the benefits of SOI include new design solutions and logic architectures. While sometimes overlooked, the relationship between the performance of logic and the amount of on-die memory required in support of that logic has become a growing portion of the die area.

“Use of SOI-enabled memory optimization tools can increase the benefits of SOI from breakeven to a cost reduction of over 40%, depending on the product, technology and process complexity,” concluded Ms. Itow.

As semiconductor process technologies move down the nanometer scale, SOI can actually be less expensive than bulk. Considered in this broader context, SOI becomes a cost-effective and attractive solution as detailed in Semico’s recent study, ‘SOI = Big ROI.’ This report is available for purchase.

For more information contact Jim Feldhan, Semico Research at 602 997-0337 or email him at Please reference report number MA106-06.

About Semico
Semico Research Corp is a semiconductor marketing and consulting research company located in Phoenix, Arizona. Semico was founded in 1994 by a group of semiconductor industry experts. We have improved the validity of semiconductor product forecasts via technology roadmaps in end-use markets. Semico offers custom consulting, portfolio packages, individual market research studies and premier industry conferences. Visit for more information.

Semico Research
Phoenix, Arizona
T: 1 602 997 0337

Jim Feldhan
Semico Research Corp.
+1 602 997 0337

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