X-FAB Leads with New 110 nm BCD-on-SOI Solution

06-11-2023 | By Jack Pollard

X-FAB Silicon Foundries SE, a frontrunner in the realm of analog/mixed-signal and specialty foundry services, has once again showcased its prowess in the domain of BCD-on-SOI technology. Marking a significant milestone, the foundry has unveiled its groundbreaking 110 nm solution, setting a new benchmark in the industry and paving the way for enhanced digital integration in analog applications.

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The XT011 BCD-on-SOI Platform

The XT011 BCD-on-SOI platform, introduced by X-FAB Silicon Foundries SE, stands as a testament to the company's commitment to innovation and technological advancement. This platform is not just a new offering; it represents a paradigm shift, addressing the ever-growing demand for enhanced digital integration and processing capabilities within the sphere of analog applications.

One of the standout features of the XT011 platform is its harmonious amalgamation of SOI (Silicon-On-Insulator) and DTI (Deep Trench Isolation) attributes. This fusion not only amplifies the platform's efficiency but also offers a myriad of benefits that are hard to achieve with traditional bulk BCD technologies. By bridging the gap between high-density digital logic and analog functionality, the XT011 platform ensures that integration on a single chip is more streamlined and efficient than ever before.

Advancements and Features

Transitioning to a lower process node brings forth a plethora of advantages, and with the introduction of the XT011 BCD-on-SOI platform, these benefits are more tangible than ever. This move signifies not just a reduction in size, but an enhancement in efficiency, performance, and integration capabilities.

One of the most notable advancements with the XT011 is the doubling of the standard cell library density, especially when compared to its predecessor, the XT018 180 nm BCD-on-SOI semiconductor platform. Furthermore, there's a commendable 35% reduction in the area required for SONOS embedded flash implementations, optimising space without compromising on functionality.

Performance-wise, the platform boasts of an ultra-low on-resistance, especially evident in its high-voltage N-channel device performance. This is further accentuated by an improvement that exceeds 25% when juxtaposed with the XT018 process. Such enhancements are pivotal in ensuring that the platform can handle demanding applications with ease.

Thermal performance, often a critical factor in semiconductor platforms, has received a significant boost in the XT011. This enhancement ensures that high-current applications, which typically generate substantial heat, are addressed more efficiently, aligning with the expectations of a bulk BCD process.

Robustness of the New BCD-on-SOI Technology

The XT011 BCD-on-SOI platform is not just about advancements and features; it's about building a robust and reliable foundation for future technologies. A testament to its robustness is its compliance with the AEC-Q100 Grade 0 design implementations, ensuring that the platform meets the highest standards of quality and reliability in the automotive industry.

Operational efficiency often hinges on the ability to function under varying conditions. The XT011 platform excels in this regard, boasting an impressive operating temperature range that spans from -40°C to 175°C. Coupled with this is its heightened resilience to Electromagnetic Interference (EMI), ensuring that the platform remains unfazed by external electronic disturbances.

Operational reliability is further enhanced by the platform's design, which effectively eliminates the risk of latch-ups. Latch-ups, often a concern in semiconductor technologies, can compromise the functionality and longevity of the platform. With their elimination in the XT011, users can be assured of a platform that offers the highest degrees of operational reliability, ensuring smooth and uninterrupted performance.

Support and Market Focus

X-FAB Silicon Foundries SE has always been at the forefront of providing comprehensive support to its users, and the introduction of the XT011 BCD-on-SOI platform is no exception. Central to this support is the comprehensive Process Design Kit (PDK) that X-FAB provides for XT011. This kit serves as an invaluable resource, offering detailed insights, guidelines, and tools to facilitate seamless design and implementation.

Further bolstering the platform's appeal is the availability of a broad array of Intellectual Property (IP) elements. Designers have access to a diverse range of IP elements, including SRAM, ROM, SONOS-based flash, and embedded EEPROM. This extensive IP support ensures that designers have all the necessary tools and resources at their disposal, paving the way for innovative and 'first-time-right' designs.

The XT011 platform, with its advanced features and robust support, is strategically positioned to cater to a diverse range of markets. While it is primarily targeted at next-generation automotive applications, its versatility ensures that it is equally adept at serving the needs of the industrial and medical sectors. Whether it's enhancing data processing capabilities for automotive applications or paving the way for smaller geometries in industrial and medical products, the XT011 platform is poised to redefine market standards.

Statements from X-FAB

In a recent statement, Joerg Doblaski, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of X-FAB, shed light on the company's pioneering efforts in the realm of BCD-on-SOI technology. He remarked, X-FAB is already widely known as the go-to foundry for BCD-on-SOI technology, and being the first to transition to 110 nm further highlights our unmatched expertise in this field. Through this next-generation automotive-grade process, we are providing customers the foundation they require for producing more sophisticated, highly integrated smart analog products.

This statement underscores X-FAB's unwavering commitment to innovation and its vision to empower its customers with cutting-edge technological solutions.

Production Details

The XT011 110 nm BCD-on-SOI semiconductor process marks a significant stride in semiconductor fabrication, and X-FAB has ensured that its production is carried out at a facility that mirrors its technological prowess. The devices leveraging this advanced process will be meticulously fabricated at X-FAB’s state-of-the-art facility located in Corbeil-Essonnes, near the iconic city of Paris.

Ensuring that innovation is swiftly transitioned from the design board to the market, X-FAB has outlined an aggressive timeline for volume production. Stakeholders and customers can anticipate volume production to commence in the latter half of 2023, marking a pivotal moment in the semiconductor industry's calendar.

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By Jack Pollard

Jack has spent over a decade in media within the electronics industry and is extremely passionate about working with companies to create interesting and educational content, from podcasts and video to written articles for engineers and buyers.