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SOI: Floating Bodies Levitate Market

Semico Research Releases SOI Report: Floating Bodies Levitate Market

Phoenix, Arizona June 23, 2005 - While Semico expects to continue to see improvements in standard CMOS technology over the next few years, it is clear that power and performance are requirements that are moving against each other.

Scientists continue to search for ways to enhance existing silicon technology to speed computing performance but the real challenge today is in controlling leakage and power dissipation. Silicon on insulator (SOI) technology has been shown to reduce power usage at a given circuit speed. SOI is able to reduce leakage and power consumption because SOI circuits can operate at lower voltages with the same performance as bulk CMOS technology. Dropping the voltage is a very effective way of reducing chip power.

In today’s market for low power, this sounds like a solution that should be crowned heavy-weight champion. So why is it only 3% of total wafer sales and even smaller in terms of production wafers?

“SOI production wafer demand will grow at a CAGR of over 60% over the next five years,” said Joanne Itow, Managing Director at Semico Research Corp. “While SOI is more costly than CMOS, as of today, I have not seen a solution that provides the kind of performance and power results that SOI can produce,” commented Ms. Itow. She concluded, “The adoption of SOI for volume applications will depend on the availability of quality SOI wafers and the alternative solutions that are discovered for processing semiconductor products at 45nm and 32nm technologies.”

Until recently, the key applications requiring SOI devices have been focused on utilizing the increased switching speed and lower power operation that SOI offers. SOI has been adopted in markets where speed and/or power are more critical. The report cites new designs for hand-held computing and communication devices requiring lower power are expected to be potential applications for SOI. Other markets are developing around the ability of SOI devices to operate in the elevated temperatures which makes the SOI chips advantageous for diagnostics and controls for automotive and other combustion engines.

This report is divided into three parts. First, Semico presents a short review of Silicon on Insulator technology, the technology challenges and benefits. Part two is a review of what companies are doing in SOI. Semico interviewed numerous companies. And finally part three is a summary and an outlook for SOI processing in the future.

This study is available for immediate delivery for $3,500. To purchase, please contact Jim Feldhan at 602-997-0337 or, and reference MA106-05, SOI: Floating Bodies Levitate Market.

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.

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