Author's Latest Posts


Magnetic Memories Reach For Center Stage


Wearable heart rate sensors. Networked smoke detectors. Smart lighting. Smart doorbells. While desktop computers and even smartphones are powerful standalone tools, Internet of Things devices share a need to collect data from the environment, store it, and transmit it to some other device for action or further analysis. In many systems, data storage and working memory account for the majorit... » read more

Creating 2D Compounds


A 2D material, by definition, has no surface dangling bonds. A bulk material with plate-like structure, such as graphite, is composed of thin layers with a weakly bonded cleavage plane between. What this means is a monolayer of graphite will seek to satisfy its exposed dangling bonds by absorbing other materials. A monolayer of graphene, in contrast, is energetically complete without a secon... » read more

Possible Uses Narrow For Negative Capacitance FETs


The discovery of a ferroelectric phase in hafnium dioxide (HfO2) has sparked significant interest in opportunities for integration of ferroelectric transistors and memories with conventional CMOS devices. Demonstrations of “negative capacitance” behavior in particular suggest these devices might evade the 60 mV/decade limit on subthreshold swing, thereby improving transistor efficiency. ... » read more

Partitioning In 3D


The best way to improve transistor density isn't necessarily to cram more of them onto a single die. Moore’s Law in its original form stated that device density doubles about every two years while cost remains constant. It relied on the observation that the cost of a processed silicon wafer remained constant regardless of the number of devices printed on it, which in turn depended on litho... » read more

Finding The Source Of EUV Stochastic Effects


The next phase of EUV development has begun—making EUV more predictable and potentially more mainstream—and it's looking to be every bit as difficult and ambitious as other developments in advanced lithography. In the early days of EUV development, supporters of the technology argued that it was “still based on photons,” as opposed to alternatives like electron beam lithography. Whil... » read more

EUV Arrives, But More Issues Ahead


EUV has arrived. After decades of development and billions of dollars of investment, EUV lithography is taking center stage at the world’s leading fabs. More than 20 years after ASML's extreme ultraviolet lithography research program began, and nearly a decade after its first pre-production exposure tools, the company expects to deliver 30 EUV exposure systems in 2019. That is nearly doubl... » read more

The Good And Bad Of 2D Materials


Despite years of warnings about reaching the limits of silicon, particularly at leading-edge process nodes where electron mobility is limited, there still is no obvious replacement. Silicon’s decades-long dominance of the integrated circuit industry is only partly due to the material’s electronic properties. Germanium, gallium arsenide, and many other semiconductors offer superior mobili... » read more

What’s For Dinner?


Robots, as currently implemented, don’t do well in uncontrolled environments. In factories and warehouses, they are fenced off by yellow safety tape, doing highly repetitive and predictable tasks. When deployed to monitor parks and malls, they are easily thwarted by malicious humans and even unexpected landscape features. Yet robots able to assist elderly and disabled people will be genuin... » read more

In-Memory Computing Challenges Come Into Focus


For the last several decades, gains in computing performance have come by processing larger volumes of data more quickly and with superior precision. Memory and storage space are measured in gigabytes and terabytes now, not kilobytes and megabytes. Processors operate on 64-bit rather than 8-bit chunks of data. And yet the semiconductor industry’s ability to create and collect high quality ... » read more

Quantum Issues And Progress


Quantum computing is showing significant promise, and research is beginning to move from the earliest stages to a deeper understanding of what works best commercially and why. On paper, quantum computing algorithms are potentially revolutionary. They suggest a way to solve some problems more quickly and more accurately than conventional computers ever could. But out in the real world of prac... » read more

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