Advanced pilot-line project to support industrialization of Fully-Depleted Silicon-On-Insulator microelectronics



Places2Be, a 3-year, €360M advanced-technology pilot-line project to support the industrialization of Fully-Depleted Silicon-On-Insulator (FD-SOI) microelectronics technology was announced today by a group of 19 leading European companies and academic institutions. Led by STMicroelectronics, a semiconductor leader serving customers across the spectrum of electronics applications, Places2Be ("Pilot Lines for Advanced CMOS Enhanced by SOI in 2x nodes, Built in Europe") aims to support the deployment of a FD-SOI pilot line at 28nm and the subsequent node, as well as a dual source that will enable volume manufacturing in Europe. Places2Be will drive the creation of a European microelectronics design ecosystem using this FD-SOI platform and explore the path towards the next step for this technology (14/10nm). FD-SOI is a low-power, high-performance next-generation alternative to conventional ("bulk") silicon and FinFET technologies. The first FD-SOI systems-on-chips are expected to be used in consumer electronics, high-performance computing and networking. With a budget of nearly €360M, the participation of 19 partners from 7 countries, and the planned involvement of about 500 engineers over three years across Europe, Places2Be is the largest ENIAC Joint Undertaking project to date and is supported as well by the National Public Authorities in the participating countries. Places2Be is one of the key enabling technologies (KETs) pilot-line projects contracted by the ENIAC JU to develop technologies and application areas with substantial societal impact. The FD-SOI manufacturing sources for the project are located in each of the two largest European microelectronics clusters: the pilot line in STMicroelectronics' Crolles fab (near Grenoble, France) and the dual source in GlobalFoundries' fab 1 in Dresden (Germany). "The Places2Be project will reinforce the ecosystems of both Grenoble and Dresden clusters, while also positively impacting the whole value chain of microelectronics in Europe - large companies, SMEs, start-ups and research organizations - beyond the direct impact induced by the material and IP investments," declared François Finck, Director of ST's R&D cooperative programs and project coordinator. Places2Be members (in alphabetic order) • ACREO Swedish ICT AB, Sweden • Adixen Vacuum Products, France • Axiom IC, Netherlands • Bruco Integrated Circuits, Netherlands • Commissariat à l'énergie atomique et aux énergies alternatives, France • Dolphin Integration, France • Ericsson AB, Sweden • eSilicon Romania S.r.l., Romania • Forschungzentrum Jülich Gmbh, Germany • GlobalFoundries Dresden, Germany • Grenoble INP, France • IMEC Interuniversitair Micro-Electronica Centrum vzw, Belgium • Ion Beam Services, France • Mentor Graphics France Sarl, France • SOITEC SA, France • ST-Ericsson • STMicroelectronics (Crolles2 SAS, SA, Grenoble SAS), France • Université Catholique de Louvain, Belgium • University of Twente, Netherlands Countries involved: • Belgium • Finland • France • Germany • Romania • Sweden • The Netherlands About FD-SOI FD-SOI stands for "Fully-Depleted Silicon-On-Insulator." This technology improves the electrostatic control of the transistor channel, improving transistor performance and power efficiency. More precisely Places2Be uses Ultra-Thin Body and Buried oxide (UTBB) FD-SOI, which allows the dynamic tuning of transistor performance, from low power to high speed, during operation STMicroelectronics