Manufacturing Bits: Oct. 25


GaN-on-GaN power semis Power semiconductors based on gallium nitride (GaN) are heating up in the market. Typically, suppliers are shipping devices using a GaN-on-silicon process. These devices are available with blocking voltages of up to 650 volts. Going beyond 650 volts is problematic, however. GaN-on-silicon processes suffer from lattice mismatches, cost and other issues. At the ... » read more

Will III-V Power Devices Happen?


In a previous blog post, I provided a review of the overall power device market and trends driving changes in device evolution that entail materials innovation. For the industry to make such a shift, the advantages over mature, low-cost silicon technologies must be compelling and something the industry absolutely has to implement. Now I’d like to focus on new materials offering competitive be... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: July 14


Exploring the proton It took 23 years to conduct the experiments, but physicists have finally provided detailed results about the proton. The Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY) organization conducted the experiments within its particle accelerator from 1992 to 2007. The experiments took place in DESY’s Hadron Electron Ring Accelerator (HERA), an electron-proton collider. Then, ove... » read more

Unraveling The Mysteries At IEDM


In some respects, the 2014 IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) was no different than past events. The event, held this week in San Francisco, included the usual and dizzying array of tutorials, sessions, papers and panels. On the leading-edge CMOS front, for example, the topics included [getkc id="82" kc_name="2.5D"]/[getkc id="42" kc_name="3D IC"] chips, III-V materials, [getkc ... » read more

Has The IC Industry Hit A ‘Red Brick Wall’?


In the mid-1980s, the semiconductor industry was in a crisis. Chipmakers were looking for ways to break the magical one-micron barrier. Many thought X-ray lithography would be required to break the barrier, but as it turned out, traditional optical technology did the trick. And the industry marched on. Then, in 2000 or so, the IC industry was nearing the so-called “red brick wall,” which... » read more

Tunnel FETs Emerge In Scaling Race


Traditional CMOS scaling will continue for the foreseeable future, possibly to the 5nm node and perhaps beyond, according to many chipmakers. In fact, chipmakers already are plotting out a path toward the 5nm node, but needless to say, the industry faces a multitude of challenges along the road. Presently, the leading transistor candidates for 5nm are the usual suspects—III-V finFETs; gate... » read more