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

Thermal Damage To Chips Widens

Heat is becoming a much bigger problem for semiconductor and system design, fueled by higher density and the increasing use of complex chips in markets such as automotive, where reliability is measured in decade-long increments. In the past, heat typically was handled by mechanical engineers, who figured out where to put heat sinks, fans, or holes to funnel heat out of a chassis. But as more... » read more

Reliability After Planar Silicon

Negative bias temperature instability (NBTI) poses a very serious reliability challenge for highly scaled planar silicon transistors, as previously discussed. However, the conventional planar silicon transistor appears to be nearing the end of its life for other reasons, too. The mobility of carriers in silicon limits switching speed even as it becomes more difficult to maintain sufficient elec... » read more

The End Of Silicon?

As transistors shrink, not all device parameters scale at the same rate—and therein lies a potentially huge problem. In recent years, manufacturers have been able to reduce equivalent oxide thickness (EOT) more quickly than operating voltage. As a result, the electric field present in the channel and gate dielectric has been increasing. Moreover, EOT reduction is achieved in part by reduci... » read more