French wafer manufacturer Soitec SA is seeking a location for a new factory as production ramps up on its 300mm silicon-on-insulator wafers, which will be used to mass-produce the Cell microprocessor among others.
Soitec, which specialises in the silicon-on-insulator technology used by some advanced chip designs, plans to quadruple its output in the near future, filling the capacity of its existing plant, and will then seek a new location.
The 300mm wafers will be used at Sony's new manufacturing plant in Japan to build Cell microprocessors, which form the core CPU for the PlayStation 3, as well as being utilised in CPUs built by IBM and AMD.
Silicon on insulator technology is still relatively new, and the majority of chips are still manufactured using traditional silicon technology. However, Soitec president Andre-Jacques Auberton-Herve believes that the major design wins represented by projects like Cell indicate that the technology is achieving mainstream acceptance, and could achieve parity with standard silicon technology by 2008.