Power/Performance Bits: May 31

Solar thermophotovoltaics A team of MIT researchers demonstrated a device based on a method that enables solar cells to break through a theoretically predicted ceiling on how much sunlight they can convert into electricity. Since 1961 it has been known that there is an absolute theoretical limit, called the Shockley-Queisser Limit, to how efficient traditional solar cells can be in their ... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 30

Mechanical switches For years, the industry has been talking about the use of advanced mechanical switches in low-power applications. In theory, mechanical switches have zero off-state leakages, abrupt ON/OFF switching capabilities and small voltage swings. Mechanical switches could overcome the energy efficiency limit of CMOS. In fact, mechanical switches could replace CMOS in some applica... » 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

Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 17

Implantable TFETs At the recent IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in Washington, D.C., a number of companies, R&D organizations and universities described new breakthroughs in perhaps the next big thing in semiconductors--the tunnel field-effect transistor (TFET). Aimed for the 5nm node, TFETs are steep sub-threshold slope transistors that can scale the supply voltages bel... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 17

Low-power tunneling transistor to enable high-performance devices To make fast and low-power computing devices possible for energy-constrained applications such as smart sensor networks, implantable medical electronics and ultra-mobile computing, a new type of transistor is needed. To this end, researchers at Penn State, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and specialty wafer fo... » read more

Getting Ready For High-Mobility FinFETs

By Mark LaPedus The IC industry entered the finFET era in 2011, when Intel leapfrogged the competition and rolled out the newfangled transistor technology at the 22nm node. Intel hopes to ramp up its second-generation finFET devices at 14nm by year’s end, with plans to debut its 11nm technology by 2015. Hoping to close the gap with Intel, silicon foundries are accelerating their efforts t... » read more