A group of leading companies throughout the electronics industry announced the launching of the SOI Industry Consortium, aimed at accelerating silicon-on-insulator (SOI) innovation into broad markets by promoting the benefits of SOI technology and reducing the barriers to adoption.

Performance and power consumption are now of primary concern throughout the electronics industry. While early adopters have convincingly demonstrated that SOI is a powerful solution in addressing these concerns, they did so largely on their own. The next wave of adopters needs a proven and complete array of readily-accessible SOI design platforms and IP to ensure transparent design platforms and cost-effective manufacturing, The SOI Consortium aims to bridge the gaps—both real and perceived— by reducing adoption costs, making SOI best practices available and facilitating design examples across the value chain.

Covering a spectrum of users, enablers, suppliers and manufacturers, the founding membership roster (listed alphabetically) includes: AMD, ARM, Cadence Design Systems, CEA-Leti, Chartered Semiconductor Manufacturing, Freescale Semiconductor, IBM, Innovative Silicon, KLA-Tencor, Lam Research, NXP, Samsung, Semico, SHE Europe, STMicroelectronics, Synopsis, TSMC and UMC.

“Riding the performance wave, SOI has made significant inroads,” notes Andre-Jacques Auberton-Herve, the consortium’s newly elected chair. “Now, the focus has expanded to reducing power consumption. SOI can cut power consumption significantly—an enormous advantage—whether you are running a data center or hoping that you have enough battery left to see the end of the match on your mobile phone. By unifying users and enablers, the SOI Industry Consortium can identify and close the gaps in the design chain, making SOI a viable choice for designers over a much broader range of market.”

The SOI Industry Consortium will focus on three major goals:

• Ensuring that user needs are heard, understood and addressed;
• Accelerating and facilitating the requisite collaboration in the ecosystem to enable silicon-proven solutions; and
• Promoting SOI benefits, technology innovation and momentum within the greater electronics community.

“SOI benefits are now being recognized by most of the major players in the industry and the technology is on the verge of entering the mainstream,” notes Bryan Lewis, semiconductor research VP of Gartner. “Companies from the entire semiconductor food chain are investing time and money to take SOI to the next level and this should clearly accelerate improvements in reduced power consumption and improved performance for a wide range of devices and applications.” The Consortium’s initial focus is on sharing best practices already established by early adopters and facilitating new design proof points demonstrating SOI’s performance, power and area advantages. The Board of Directors was elected in October.

The SOI Industry Consortium is chartered with accelerating silicon-on-insulator innovation into broad markets by promoting the benefits of SOI technology and reducing the barriers to adoption. Membership is open to all companies and institutions throughout the electronics industry. For more information, visit: www.soiconsortium.org.