Author's Latest Posts


Building CFETs With Monolithic And Sequential 3D


Successive versions of vertical transistors are emerging as the likely successor to finFETs, combining lower leakage with significant area reduction. A stacked nanosheet transistor, introduced at N3, uses multiple channel layers to maintain the overall channel length and necessary drive current while continuing to reduce the standard cell footprint. The follow-on technology, the CFET, pushes... » read more

3D Integration Supports CIM Versatility And Accuracy


Compute-in-memory (CIM) is gaining attention due to its efficiency in limiting the movement of massive volumes of data, but it's not perfect. CIM modules can help reduce the cost of computation for AI workloads, and they can learn from the highly efficient approaches taken by biological brains. When it comes to versatility, scalability, and accuracy, however, significant tradeoffs are requir... » read more

Modeling Compute In Memory With Biological Efficiency


The growing popularity of generative AI, which uses natural language to help users make sense of unstructured data, is forcing sweeping changes in how compute resources are designed and deployed. In a panel discussion on artificial intelligence at last week’s IEEE Electron Device Meeting, IBM’s Nicole Saulnier described it as a major breakthrough that should allow AI tools to assist huma... » read more

Increasing AI Energy Efficiency With Compute In Memory


Skyrocketing AI compute workloads and fixed power budgets are forcing chip and system architects to take a much harder look at compute in memory (CIM), which until recently was considered little more than a science project. CIM solves two problems. First, it takes more energy to move data back and forth between memory and processor than to actually process it. And second, there is so much da... » read more

Ferroelectric Memories Answer Call For Non-Volatile Alternatives


As system designers seek to manipulate larger data sets while reducing power consumption, ferroelectric memory may be part of the solution. It offers an intermediate step between the speed of DRAM and the stability of flash memory. Changing the polarization of ferroelectric domains is extremely fast, and the polarization remains stable without power for years, if not decades. FeFETs, one of ... » read more

Is Maskless Lithography Coming Into Its Own?


Lithographers have always faced tradeoffs between speed and flexibility. Steppers are very good at printing hundreds or thousands of identical features onto hundreds or thousands of wafers. They are not especially good at handling surfaces with significant topography, though. Nor is customization feasible. Every exposure uses the same reticle. Direct write e-beam lithography has long been us... » read more

3D In-Memory Compute Making Progress


Indium compounds are showing great promise for 3D in-memory compute and RF integration, but more work is needed. Researchers continue to make headway into 3D device integration particularly with indium tin oxide (ITO), which is widely used in display manufacturing. Recent work indicates that different compounds of indium oxide doped with tin, gallium, or zinc combinations may boost transisto... » read more

Using ML For Improved Fab Scheduling


Expanding fab capacity is slow and expensive even under ideal circumstances. It has been still more difficult in recent years, as pandemic-related shortages have strained equipment supply chains. When integrated circuit demand rises faster than expansions can fill the gap, fabs try to find “hidden” capacity through improved operations. They hope that more efficient workflows will allow e... » read more

Will CFETs Help The Industry Go Vertical?


Device scaling is getting much harder at each new process node. Even defining what it means is becoming a challenge. In the past, gate length and metal pitch went down and device density went up. Today, this is much harder for several reasons: • Short channel effects limit gate-length scaling; • Parasitic effects limit device density, and • Metal resistance limits metal pitch. So r... » read more

Managing Water Supplies With Machine Learning


From wet benches to cooling systems, fabs use vast amounts of water — millions of gallons per day at a typical foundry. In this era of climate change, though, water supplies are becoming less reliable and municipal water systems are becoming more restrictive. For example, local utilities might restrict a fab’s ability to draw from the public water supply, or might supply only treated wastew... » read more

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