Soitec signs foundry deal to use SOI technology in image sensors
Foundry TowerJazz and silicon-on-insulator specialist Soitec have signed an agreement to support the fabrication of backside illuminated CMOS image sensors for industrial, medical and automotive applications.
The plan is to integrate SOI substrates and Soitec’s Smart Stacking circuit layer transfer technology into TowerJazz’s fabrication process.
The attraction of backside illumination in image sensor design is that it allows what the firms called “100% fill factor of pixels maximizing photon collection without any shading of metals”.
The significance of using SOI substrates is that it makes backside illumination available to the volume manufacture of sensors.
French firm Soitec’s Smart Stacking technology in particular is claimed to achieve low cross-talk and better pixel quality in CMOS image sensors through access to the backside of the device.
According to Dr. Avi Strum, v-p and general manager, TowerJazz Specialty Business Unit: “Our collaboration will result in high-performance image sensors and will allow fabless designers to create new generations of ultra-sensitive image sensors – which in turn will enable exciting new applications for cinematography, DSLR cameras, space cameras, and high-end medical cameras, among others.”
“This partnership will be a great advantage for the fabless design community,” said Dr. Bernard Aspar, v-p and managing director of Soitec’s Tracit Business Unit.