FDSOI becomes the key for European industry

25.3.2019

Microelectronics is the motor of digitalization. Competitive industrial products require highly integrated, energy-efficient, and intelligent semiconductor components. This applies in particular to cars, but also to products within mechanical engineering, plant construction, energy technology, and medical engineering. And this is where THINGS2DO entered the picture in 2014. With the completion of the project, German industry now has a powerful chip development system for industry-capable 22FDX® technology at its disposal.

© Fraunhofer IPMS / Globalfoundries

Section of a test chip.

© Fraunhofer IIS / EAS

Fine-pitch package substrate for a multifunctional system-on-chip.

THINGS2DO is a joint European project with over 40 partners. The objective of the project was to give European industry access to the FDSOI-based 22FDX® technology. The project extended far beyond making FDOI technology available, and now, at the end of the project, all of the essentials needed for successful development of semiconductor components are at hand. This covers, in particular, the provision of tried-and-tested process design kits (PDKs), efficient design methods, a comprehensive library of design IPs, and attractive SoCs as demonstrators and reference designs.

SoC demonstrator shortens the project duration

The performance capability of the development results has been proved with several demonstrators, including a video and image detection SoC with outstanding performance data for automotive applications. The project partner Bosch has investigated radar modulation concepts in the context of THINGS2DO and developed high-frequency circuits in 22FDX® technology. The radar system demonstrator thus created showed that modern CMOS technologies offer new opportunities for automobile radar applications.

Generally speaking, the results have far exceeded expectations: the 22FDX® technology introduced is more powerful and saves more electricity than foreseen at project launch in 2014. The SoC demonstrator has considerably more processing power and the duration of the project was shortened by six months. The early availability of the results has already contributed to the 22FDX® technology and associated IP portfolio of the design partners being established on the market. This has significantly helped expand commercialization plans.

Basis: 22FDX® technology from joint European research

The underlying 22FDX® technology also originated in European developments. The substrate material comes from the SOITEC company in France and the 22FDX® technology was developed by GLOBALFOUNDRIES in Dresden in close collaboration with the STMicroelectronics company and the French research laboratory LETI.

About THINGS2DO

THINGS2DO was funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and ENIAC, a public-private partnership fund of the European Commission. Fraunhofer IIS / EAS as well as Fraunhofer EMFT, Airbus, Dream Chip Technologies, GLOBALFOUNDRIES, MunEDA, Bosch, the University of Tübingen, and Leibniz University in Hannover were involved in the work.