Soitec and Kokusai Electric Extend R&D Collaboration at Substrate Innovation Center

July 10, 2019 by Scott McMahan

Soitec and Kokusai Electric Corporation reported that they have expanded their collaboration to R&D activities at the Substrate Innovation Center in Grenoble, France. Started by CEA-Leti and Soitec, the Substrate Innovation Center is an industry-inclusive hub that encourages early collaboration as well as learning from substrate to system-level and drives the R&D of advanced engineered substrates, including silicon-on-insulator (SOI) and beyond.

Soitec points out that engineered substrates bring disruptive solutions at a device and system-level beyond traditional CMOS scaling.

Establishing dedicated R&D capabilities at the Substrate Innovation Center will let partners test new materials and investigate further improvements of atomic-level thickness uniformity and surface-roughness for the next generation of engineered substrates.

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Soitec's partnership with Kokusai has been going on for some time with their first collaboration to develop fully-depleted silicon-on-insulator (FD-SOI) technology. FD-SOI employs an ultra-thin layer of silicon over an oxide to reduce leakage and variation in chips. FD-SOI also enables a back-bias feature. Soitec previously noted that FD-SOI is suited for low-power applications in markets including mobile processing, automotive, industrial, and IoT.

"We are expanding our long-term partnership with Kokusai which started with the development of disruptive solutions for wafer-roughness control in high-volume manufacturing for FD-SOI wafers, to collaboration on new generation of engineered substrates," said Christophe Maleville, CTO of Soitec. "Kokusai brings unique expertise in thermal treatment and layer formation processes which are essential in building next generations substrates for semiconductor devices."

"By collaborating with Soitec on optimizing their SOI processes in high-volume manufacturing, we have extended our breadth of expertise and further expanded our process capabilities," said Dr. Unryu Ogawa, Senior Vice President and Executive Officer of Kokusai Electric Corporation. "Working in an R&D environment on high volume manufacturing-ready tools will allow successful process transfers to be less complex and much shorter."