Battling Fab Cycle Times

The shift from planar devices to finFETs enables chipmakers to scale their processes and devices from 16nm/14nm and beyond, but the industry faces several challenges at each node. Cost and technical issues are the obvious challenges. In addition, cycle time—a key but less publicized part of the chip-scaling equation—also is increasing at every turn, creating more angst for chipmakers and... » read more

System Bits: Dec. 20

Removing quasiparticles from superconducting quantum circuits improves lifetime Given that an important prerequisite for the realization of high-performance quantum computers is that the stored data should remain intact for as long as possible, an international team of scientists at European interdisciplinary research institute Forschungszentrum Jülich has succeeded in making further improvem... » read more

System Bits: Dec. 13

Data, code sharing standards for computational studies While reporting new research results involves detailed descriptions of methods and materials used in an experiment, when a study uses computers to analyze data, create models or simulate things that can’t be tested in a lab, how can other researchers see what steps were taken or potentially reproduce results? To this end, a new report by... » read more

The Limits Of The Lifecycle

In the first article in my series on sustainability, I cited one estimate that attributed most of the electricity consumed by an integrated circuit to manufacturing, not use. Other analyses, however, come to exactly the opposite conclusion, with above 90% of lifetime energy consumption accounted for by the use phase. How can that be? The glib answer is that industry efforts to build more eff... » read more

Sub-Lithographic Patterning Via Tilted Ion Implantation For Scaling Beyond The 7nm Technology Node

Tilted ion implantation (TII) can be used in conjunction with pre-existing masking features on the surface of a substrate to form features with smaller dimensions and smaller pitch. In this paper, the resolution limit of this sub-lithographic patterning approach is examined via experiments as well as Monte Carlo process simulations. TII is shown to be capable of defining features with size belo... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Oct. 11

Getting to 1nm Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC Berkeley, University of Texas at Dallas, and Stanford University created a transistor with a working 1nm gate from carbon nanotubes and molybdenum disulfide (MoS2). "The semiconductor industry has long assumed that any gate below 5 nanometers wouldn't work, so anything below that was not even considered," said fir... » read more

Joint R&D Has Its Ups And Downs

As corporate spending on research and development dwindles, enterprises are reaching out to colleges and universities to supplement their R&D. And they often are finding eager partners in those endeavors, as professors and their graduate students look for help, financial and technical, in addressing long-term research projects. “Pure research is just a luxury no one can afford anymore,... » read more

System Bits: Aug. 16

Record-breaking quantum logic gate Reaching the benchmark required theoretically to build a quantum computer, University of Oxford researchers have achieved a quantum logic gate with record-breaking 99.9% precision. They reminded that quantum computers, which function according to the laws of quantum physics, have the potential to dwarf the processing power of today's computers, able to pro... » read more

System Bits: Aug. 9

Using trapped ions as quantum bits MIT researchers reminded that quantum computers are largely hypothetical devices that could perform some calculations much more rapidly than conventional computers can, and instead of the bits of classical computation — which can represent 0 or 1 — quantum computers consist of quantum bits, or qubits, which can, in some sense, represent 0 and 1 simultaneo... » read more

Will Open-Source Work For Chips?

Open source is getting a second look by the semiconductor industry, driven by the high cost of design at complex nodes along with fragmentation in end markets, which increasingly means that one size or approach no longer fits all. The open source movement, as we know it today, started in the 1980s with the launch of the GNU project, which was about the time the electronic design automation (... » read more

← Older posts