Acorn Technologies, an innovator in the semiconductor and telecommunications markets since 1998, announced a research collaboration with Jean-Pierre Raskin, Ph.D., a full professor at the Université catholique de Louvain (UCLouvain), Belgium's largest French-speaking university. Acorn is funding a research project led by Professor Raskin to assess and quantify the performance potential of the company’s Acorn Buried Stressor (ABS) technology for RF semiconductor manufacturing.
As today’s system and circuit designers approach the limits of Moore’s Law, Acorn is addressing some of the semiconductor industry’s most significant technology roadblocks through multiple commercialization programs. Acorn’s ABS is a proprietary semiconductor strain technology that boosts performance for both legacy and future fully depleted Si-on-Insulator (FD-SOI) devices.
FD-SOI technology is a planar process developed to shrink Si geometries, improve performance and reduce power, thereby extending Moore's Law without requiring more complicated manufacturing processes. ABS extends the performance and efficiency of ultra-high frequency RF FD-SOI transistors that operate in the hundreds of gigahertz and are essential for 5G and future 6G communications devices. ABS can also be applied to Acorn’s patented germanium laser technology, which provides a Si-compatible solution for monolithic photonics-on-a-chip to overcome performance-limiting interconnect bottlenecks that cause excessive power consumption.
“Acorn’s ABS technology holds great promise for the semiconductor industry as a novel technique for enhancing the performance of FD-SOI devices,” said Professor Jean-Pierre Raskin. “I look forward to working closely with Acorn’s engineering team as we evaluate and quantify the capabilities of ABS for potential commercial use in a wide range of RF applications.”
A world-renowned expert in RF and FD-SOI technologies, Professor Raskin has collaborated with many of the world’s top semiconductor companies in multiple research projects. He has pioneered important breakthroughs that have been adopted by the FD-SOI sector of the semiconductor industry as an alternative to FinFET technology, with a focus on low-power mobile chipsets used in smartphones and other mobile connected devices.
“We are honored to collaborate with Professor Raskin as we explore the benefits of applying ABS to accelerate the performance of RF devices manufactured with FD-SOI technology,” said Tom Horgan, CEO of Acorn. “We believe Professor Raskin and his distinguished UCLouvain research team will add tremendous value to Acorn’s efforts to commercialize process manufacturing innovations for the benefit of the entire semiconductor industry.”
“ABS technology can provide a 15 to 25 percent performance boost for RF FD-SOI devices by increasing the electron mobility through strain. This is accomplished without performance trade-offs and without adverse effects such as yield-threatening semiconductor layer defects. As RF transistors are now reaching the limits of geometric scaling, further improvements will only come from materials enhancement technologies such as ABS,” said Paul Clifton, vice president of semiconductor technologies at Acorn. “Our research project with Professor Raskin will provide invaluable insights as we expand the commercial application of ABS in FD-SOI for next-generation radio technologies including advanced 5G, mmWave and future 6G opportunities.”