Tech Talk: 7nm Litho


David Fried, chief technology officer at Coventor, digs into future scaling issues involving multi-patterning and new transistor types. https://youtu.be/FBnYRAL1xKY Related Stories Inside Next-Gen Transistors Coventor’s CTO looks at new types of transistors, the expanding number of challenges at future process nodes & the state of semiconductor development in China. Faster Time To ... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: June 27


Superconducting nanowire memory cell Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the State University of New York at Stony Brook developed a new nanoscale memory cell that provides stable memory at a smaller size than other proposed memory devices, and holds promise for successful integration with superconducting processors. The device comprises two superconducting nan... » read more

TFETs Cut Sub-Threshold Swing


One of the main obstacles to continued transistor scaling is power consumption. As gate length decreases, the sub-threshold swing (SS) — the gate voltage required to change the drain current by one order of magnitude — increases. As Qin Zhang, Wei Zhao, and Alan Seabaugh of Notre Dame explained in 2006, SS faces a theoretical minimum of 60 mV/decade at room temperature in conventional MO... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 31


Microbial nanowires Microbiologists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst report that they have discovered a new type of microbial nanowire, the protein filaments that bacteria use to make electrical connections with other microbes or minerals. The team was motivated by the potential for improved "green" conducting materials for electronics. According to Derek Lovley, professor of... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 24


Printable circuits with silver nanowires Scientists at Duke University compared the conductivity of films made from different shapes of silver nanostructures and found that electrons move through films made of silver nanowires much easier than films made from other shapes, like nanospheres or microflakes. In fact, electrons flowed so easily through the nanowire films that they could function... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Jan. 3


Paper-based bacteria battery Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have created a bacteria-powered battery on a single sheet of paper that can power disposable electronics. The manufacturing technique reduces fabrication time and cost, and the design could revolutionize the use of bio-batteries as a power source in remote, dangerous and resource-limited areas. ... » read more

BEOL Barricades Ahead


Coventor recently assembled an expert panel at IEDM 2016, to discuss changes to BEOL process technology that would be needed to continue dimensional scaling to 7 nm and lower. Among the questions posed to panelists: What is BEOL? Where does it begin and end? Are there fundamental limits to interconnect processes? How much longer can we continue to use current interconnect processes and te... » 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

Manufacturing Bits: July 19


Detecting anapoles A*STAR has detected invisible particles. Researchers from the Singaporean R&D organization have observed a new optical effect in nanoscale disks of silicon, which are patterns of radiation that do not scatter light. One example of a non-radiating source is called an anapole. An anapole, according to A*Star, is a distribution of charges and currents. They do not radiate wi... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: July 19


Atomic storage In the search for ever-smaller storage, a team of scientists at Delft University in the Netherlands built a 1 kilobyte memory where each bit is represented by the position of one single chlorine atom. "In theory, this storage density would allow all books ever created by humans to be written on a single post stamp," said lead scientist Sander Otte. They reached a storage de... » read more

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