Materials For Future Electronics


Examining the research underway in electronics materials provides a keyhole view into what may be possible in future electronics design. Although some of this research will not end up in commercial products, it does provide an indication of the kinds of problems that are being addressed, how they are being approached, and where the research dollars are being spent. Flexible electronics are a... » read more

The Other Side Of H1-B Visas


There is a lot of discussion these days about “Hire American.” But what does that actually mean in practice? I’m at the Materials Research Society Spring Meeting this week, where one of the presentations was by a scientist who works at the TEL Technology Center, America, in Albany, NY. It’s the largest Tokyo Electron research center outside of Japan. It’s affiliated with the SUNY P... » read more

Keeping The Whole Package Cool


Heat dissipation is a critical issue for designers of complex chip-stacking and system-in-package devices. The amount of heat generated by a device increases as the number of transistors goes up, but the ability to dissipate the heat depends on the package surface area. Because the goal of 3D packaging is to squeeze more transistors into less overall space, new heat dissipation issues are em... » read more

Improving Transistor Reliability


One of the more important challenges in reliability testing and simulation is the duty cycle dependence of degradation mechanisms such as negative bias temperature instability ([getkc id="278" kc_name="NBTI"]) and hot carrier injection (HCI). For example, as previously discussed, both the shift due to NBTI and the recovery of baseline behavior are very dependent on device workload. This is ... » read more

Engineering For Next-Gen Memory Performance


When only a few electrons mean the difference between the ON and the OFF state, it’s difficult to manufacture [getkc id="22" kc_name="memory"] elements with consistent, reliable performance. This is the situation conventional capacitance-based memories face as critical dimensions drop to just a few nanometers. As a result, device designers are considering a wide range of alternative memory... » read more

The List Of Unknowns Grows After Silicon


As discussed earlier in this series, most proposed alternative channel schemes depend on germanium channels for pMOS transistors, and InGaAs channels for nMOS transistors. Of the two materials, InGaAs poses by far the more difficult integration challenges. Germanium has been present in advanced silicon CMOS fabs for several technology generations, having been introduced used in strained silicon... » read more