Industry sources told DigiTimes that Chinese foundries like Shanghai Huali Microelectronics (HLMC) are planning to offer FD-SOI processes because they're having a hard time breaking into the mainstream FinFET segment. The site remarks there's huge potential for FD-SOI for these smaller players as a lot of China-based fabless designers will be interested in cheaper FD-SOI process technology for Internet of Things (IoT) applications:
HLMC has disclosed plans to roll out advanced 28nm and 14nm FinFET processes. The China-based 12-inch foundry is also mulling the launch of FD-SOI process technology to provide a low-cost alternative to FinFET technologies, said the sources.
With a growing number of China-based fabless firms focusing on Internet of Things (IoT) applications, a cheaper FD-SOI process will be more attractive than FinFET-type processes, the sources indicated. Eyeing the huge market potential, HLMC and other China-based foundries are looking to join the FD-SOI race, where Globalfoundries will be their major competitor.
As written a couple of days ago, GlobalFoundries is building a new semiconductor fab in Chengdu, China. That plant is expected to roll out volume production of 22nm FD-SOI chips in 2019.