STMicroelectronics and Samsung have signed what they call 'a comprehensive agreement' under which Samsung will provide access to ST's 28nm fully depleted silicon on insulator (FD-SOI) technology. The licensing accord is said to assure the industry of high volume production capacity for FD-SOI technology, which is believed to enable faster, cooler, and simpler semiconductors.
"This agreement further strengthens our cooperation by extending it to 28nm FD-SOI, while expanding the ecosystem and augmenting fab capacity for ST and the entire electronics industry," said Jean-Marc Chery, ST's chief operating officer. "We foresee further expansion of the 28nm FD-SOI ecosystem, to include the leading EDA and IP suppliers, which will enrich the IP catalogue available for 28nm FD-SOI." While ST already has some capacity for 28nm FD-SOI at its 300mm facility in Crolles, Samsung will now provide wider access to the technology and bring its high volume manufacturing expertise into play. Samsung will qualify the process for volume production in early 2015. "We are pleased to announce this collaboration with ST," said Dr Seh-Woong Jeong, executive vice president of Samsung's System LSI Business. "This is an ideal solution for customers looking for extra performance and power efficiency at the 28nm node without having to migrate to 20nm. By adding FD-SOI to our technology portfolio, Samsung provides a full spectrum of 28nm process offerings for our customers' success."