TSMC Licenses PowerQubic™ Technology from Sofics; Protects High-Voltage ICs against ESD/EOS, Latch-up

Ideal for Motor Control, Power Management, Automotive, LCD Circuits; Hebistor Device Achieves More Dissipation in Smaller Silicon Area

GISTEL, Belgium — (BUSINESS WIRE) — June 23, 2010 — Sofics bvba ( www.sofics.com), a leading provider of solutions for ICs, today announced that it is licensing its PowerQubic™ technology, which protects high-voltage integrated circuits from failure due to electrical overstress (EOS), to TSMC, the world's largest dedicated semiconductor foundry.

PowerQubic prevents latch-up and mitigates electrostatic discharge (ESD) and other forms of EOS, enabling superior reliability in such high-voltage systems as automotive and motor controls, power management and conversion circuits, and LCD drivers. It can be used without any changes to the production process.

Fully verified and optimized PowerQubic technology will soon be released for TSMC’s 0.25um/40V process. Other high-voltage processes will follow within the next year. TSMC customers can obtain PowerQubic layout cells through the foundry without separate licensing from Sofics.

“PowerQubic provides cost-effective, cutting-edge IC and system-level protection for high-voltage circuit designs,” said Koen Verhaege, CEO of Sofics. “With more electronic controls appearing in demanding applications every year, there is a growing need for system-level circuit protection. We believe PowerQubic sets a new standard for performance in this area.

“We’re gratified that after extensive testing TSMC has selected our technology to help customers protect their high-voltage circuits.”

As part of the licensing agreement, Sofics will become a member of TSMC’s IP Alliance.

PowerQubic and the Hebistor

PowerQubic technology is built around the hebistor, a novel Sofics-developed clamping device. The hebistor dissipates more electrical energy per area than any other protective device. As a result, PowerQubic offers ESD performance that scales to 8kV and beyond. Among its advantages:

  • High holding voltage for guaranteed latch-up immunity
  • Leakage an order of magnitude below other devices
  • Lowest parasitic capacitance
  • IEC protection on-chip in 2 to 5 times smaller silicon area

More information on PowerQubic and hebistors is available directly from Sofics, or by visiting the Sofics web site.

About Sofics

Sofics ( www.sofics.com) formerly known as Sarnoff Europe, today focuses on product development, licensing, engineering tools and design services for on-chip device- and system-level protection and reliability. Sofics is an independent IP provider, fully owned by Kogeni bvba.


Sofics bvba
Koen Verhaege, +32-9-21-68-333
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