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We describe the optical bistability phenomenon in a silicon-on-insulator microring resonators device by using an analytical theory, which includes both linear and nonlinear effects such as two-photon absorption, Kerr effect, free carrier and thermo-optic effect (TOE). We show that the bistable switching threshold and the hysteresis loop width can be tuned by geometrical parameters of the device and by the nonlinear parameters. The accuracy of the analytical approach is verified by comparing the spectrum responds with the predicting data from a commercial finite-difference time-domain software tool, and a very close agreement is found between the two when TOE is incorporated in analytical theory. In addition, our analysis reveals that a new type of hysteresis loop occurs at low input intensity. The mode suppression of the designed device by Vernier effect for tunable filter applications is also briefly discussed.