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Semiconductors and Components

FDSOI Gains Memory IP Support

08 November 2013

Embedded memory intellectual property licensor Memoir Systems Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) is supporting the generation of embedded memories in application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs) and system on chips (SoCs) manufactured in STMicroelectronics' fully depleted silicon-on-insulator (FDSOI) process technology.

Memoir, formed in 2009, is pursuing a systems-level approach to providing multi-port memories for networking chips and SoCs. Memoir's algorithmic memory technology creates multi-port SRAMs, but based on 6-transistor single-port SRAMs. As such, the technology avoids the need to develop specialized 8-transistor memory cells, as is usually done for multi-port memories.

FDSOI is an alternative manufacturing process to bulk CMOS and to the follow-on manufacturing process based on FinFETs that stand up from the silicon surface.

Circuits manufactured in FDSOI have shown as much as 30 percent faster performance and 30 percent greater energy efficiency compared with the same circuits manufactured in bulk CMOS. However, manufacturing leaders such as Intel and TSMC have committed themselves to the FinFET technology.

"The ease of porting, together with the performance we've seen, confirms that FDSOI is faster, cooler and simpler," said Sundar Iyer, co-founder and CEO of Memoir Systems, in a statement issued by STMicroelectronics.

A number of companies are developing intellectual property in support of FDSOI, although at least some are being paid to do so by STMicroelectronics to try to develop an ecosystem as quickly as possible.

Speaking at the International Electronics Forum, held in Dublin, Ireland early in October, Jack Harding, president and CEO of IP design and manufacturing services company eSilicon Corp., said his company was being paid to develop IP in support of FDSOI. "I do see this [FDSOI] ecosystem building up. We're being paid to do it. When you see EDA companies moving spontaneously to adopt it, then you know it is going to be a success," he said at the event.

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