Author's Latest Posts


Scaling Up Compute-In-Memory Accelerators


Researchers are zeroing in on new architectures to boost performance by limiting the movement of data in a device, but this is proving to be much harder than it appears. The argument for memory-based computation is familiar by now. Many important computational workloads involve repetitive operations on large datasets. Moving data from memory to the processing unit and back — the so-called ... » read more

Moving To GAA FETs


How do you measure the size of a transistor? Is it the gate length, or the distance between the source and drain contacts? For planar transistors, the two values are approximately the same. The gate, plus a dielectric spacer, fits between the source and drain contacts. The contact pitch, limited by the smallest features that the lithography process can print, determines how many transistors ... » read more

New Packaging Roadmap


Historically, the electronics industry has drawn sharp distinctions between the integrated circuit chip, the package that protects it from the environment, and the board that connects it to other devices in a complete system. The circuit and systems worlds have been largely isolated from each other, using different tools, different processes, and different metrics for success. While integrated ... » read more

New Trends In Wafer Bonding


Unable to scale horizontally, due to a combination of lithography delays and power constraints, manufacturers are stacking devices vertically. This has become essential as the proliferation of mobile devices drives demand for smaller circuit footprints, but the transition isn't always straightforward. Three-dimensional integration schemes take many forms, depending on the required interconne... » read more

Building An MRAM Array


MRAM is gaining traction in a variety of designs as a middle-level type of memory, but there are reasons why it took so long to bring this memory to market. A typical magnetoresistive RAM architecture is based on CoFeB magnetic layers, with an MgO tunneling barrier. The reference layer should have zero net magnetization to make sure that it doesn’t influence the orientation of the free lay... » read more

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

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