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

FinFET Scaling Reaches Thermal Limit


In 1974, Robert H. Dennard was working as an IBM researcher. He introduced the idea that MOSFETs would continue to work as voltage-controlled switches in conjunction with shrinking features, providing doping levels, the chip's geometry, and voltages are scaled along with those size reductions. This became known as Dennard's Law even though, just like Moore's Law, it was anything but a law. T... » read more

Capturing Performance


The challenge of working out the best performance for a given power budget is not a new one, but in many power-sensitive applications, the balance is tricky and requires sophisticated techniques. This is especially true in the media processor market where many systems companies are held back by power, energy and thermal issues. “It's really not a battery problem, it's a thermal problem... » read more

Power Shift


The disaggregation of the mobile market, which began with Nokia, Ericsson and RIM challenging the entrenched position of Motorola back in the late 1990s, is shifting again. This time it’s being driven by a different kind of power play, namely physical power issues inside a device. The biggest problem in shrinking die and pushing economies of scale in conjunction with Moore’s Law is relat... » read more