Managing Parasitics For Transistor Performance


The basic equations describing transistor behavior rely on parameters like channel doping, the capacitance of the gate oxide, and the resistance between the source and drain and the channel. And for most of the IC industry's history, these have been sufficient. “Parasitic” or “external” resistances and capacitances from structures outside the transistor have been small enough to discoun... » read more

BEOL Issues At 10nm And 7nm


Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss problems with the back end of line at leading-edge nodes with Craig Child, senior manager and deputy director for [getentity id="22819" e_name="GlobalFoundries'"] advanced technology development integration unit; Paul Besser, senior technology director at [getentity id="22820" comment="Lam Research"]; David Fried, CTO at [getentity id="22210" e_name... » read more

7nm Power Issues And Solutions


Being able to achieve 35% speed improvement, 65% power reduction and 3.3X higher density makes adopting a 7nm process for your next system-on-chip (SoC) design seem like an easy decision. However, with $271 million in estimated total design cost and 500 man-years it would take to bring a mid-range 7nm SoC to production, companies need to carefully weigh the benefits against the cost of designin... » read more

Partitioning For Power


Examine any smartphone design today and most of the electronic circuitry is "off" most of the time. And regardless of how many processor cores are available, it's rare to use more than a couple of those cores at any point in time. The emphasis is shifting, though, as the mobility market flattens and other markets such as driver-assisted vehicles and IoT begin gaining traction. In a car, turn... » read more

Optimization Challenges For 10nm And 7nm


Optimization used to be a simple timing against area tradeoff but not anymore. As we go to each new node, the tradeoffs become more complicated involving additional aspects of the design that used to be dealt with in isolation. Semiconductor Engineering sat down to discuss these issues with Krishna Balachandran, director of product management for low-power products at [getentity id="22032" e... » read more

Building Faster Chips


By Ed Sperling and Jeff Dorsch An explosion in IoT sensor data, the onset of deep learning and AI, and the commercial rollout of augmented and virtual reality are driving a renewed interest in performance as the key metric for semiconductor design. Throughout the past decade in which mobility/smartphone dominated chip design, power replaced performance as the top driver. Processors ha... » read more

RC Delay: Bottleneck To Scaling


R = resistance — the difficulty an electrical current has in passing through a conducting material. C = capacitance — the degree to which an insulating material holds a charge. RC delay = the delay in signal speed through the circuit wiring as a result of these two effects. RC delay is important because it can become a significant obstacle to continued downward scaling of logic and... » read more

New System Requirements Demand a Creatively Choreographed Ecosystem


In the past, integrated circuits, packages and boards were all designed independently, and yet in most cases still managed to fit together with very few functional or technical problems. However, recent advances in chip performance have changed this process dramatically. New designs, processes and materials already have been seen in packaging as high-performance semiconductor chips need to c... » read more

Tech Talk: 14nm


Tamer Ragheb, digital design methodology technical lead at GlobalFoundries about what's changed with 14nm finFETs, including coloring with double patterning, new corners, Miller Effects, timing issues and variability. [youtube vid=Yk6jSKCtsjU] » read more

MEMS Capacitance Extraction With Calibre xACT-3D Software


The growing use of MEM's in today's complex products requires new approaches to capacitance calculation to ensure companies can meet their time-to-market targets while producing products that meet performance and reliability expectations. Freescale Semiconductor and Mentor Graphics collaborated to demonstrate that Calibre xACT-3D software provides a robust method for extracting node-to-node cap... » read more

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