Manufacturing Bits: Dec. 23


Gallium oxide transistors At the recent IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), Cornell University and Hosei University presented a paper on a gallium oxide vertical transistor with a record breakdown voltage. Crystalline beta gallium oxide is a promising wide bandgap semiconductor material, which is used for power semiconductor applications. Gallium oxide has a large bandgap of... » read more

Power Semi Wars Begin


Several vendors are rolling out the next wave of power semiconductors based on gallium nitride (GaN) and silicon carbide (SiC), setting the stage for a showdown against traditional silicon-based devices in the market. Power semiconductors are specialized transistors that incorporate different and competitive technologies like GaN, SiC and silicon. Power semis operate as a switch in high-volt... » read more

SiC Demand Growing Faster Than Supply


The silicon carbide (SiC) industry is in the midst of a major expansion campaign, but suppliers are struggling to meet potential demand for SiC power devices and wafers in the market. In just one example of the expansion efforts, Cree plans to invest up to $1 billion to increase its SiC fab and wafer capacities. As part of the plan, Cree is developing the world’s first 200mm (8-inch) SiC f... » read more

What’s A Mott FET?


The unique physics of two-dimensional semiconductors offers the potential for new kinds of switches that could extend the usefulness of conventional MOSFETs into a variety of new areas. A MOSFET applies a voltage to one side of the gate capacitor. The resulting electric field in the channel shifts the band structure and facilitates or impedes the flow of carriers. So as devices shrink, the g... » read more

SiC Chip Demand Surges


The silicon carbide (SiC) power semiconductor market is experiencing a sudden surge in demand amid growth for electric vehicles and other systems. But the demand also is causing a tight supply of SiC-based devices in the market, prompting some vendors to add fab capacity in the midst of a tricky wafer-size transition. Some SiC device makers are transitioning from 4- to 6-inch wafers in the f... » read more

200mm Crisis?


Over the last year or so, the IC industry has experienced an acute shortage of both 200mm fab capacity and 200mm equipment amid a surge of demand for certain chips. Right now, though, the 200mm shortfall is much worse than before. But this situation isn’t expected to improve for both elements in the second half of 2017, and perhaps beyond. On the capacity front, chipmakers are generally... » read more

Will Self-Heating Stop FinFETs


New transistor designs and new materials don’t appear out of thin air. Their adoption always is driven by the limitations of the incumbent technology. Silicon germanium and other compound semiconductors are interesting because they promise superior carrier mobility relative to silicon. [getkc id="185" kc_name="FinFET"] transistor designs help minimize short channel effects, a critical limi... » read more

TFETs And/Or MOSFETs For Low-Power Design


As discussed in Reducing Subthreshold Swing With TFETs, papers at December’s IEEE Electron Device Meeting examined a variety of potential designs for tunneling transistors (TFETs). That focus continued at the recent CS International Conference. In particular, Nadine Collaert discussed IMEC’s work on InGaAs homo-junction devices. Many compound semiconductor devices depend on heterojunctio... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Dec. 8


Reducing transistor switching power One of the great challenges in electronics has been to reduce power consumption during transistor switching operation. However, engineers at University of California, Santa Barbara, and Rice University demonstrated a new transistor that switches at only 0.1 volts and reduces power dissipation by over 90% compared to state-of-the-art MOSFETs. "The steepn... » read more

We Must Teach Chips To Feel Pain


By Guido Groeseneken When I was a doctorate student in the 1980s there was lots of wild speculation about Moore’s Law: give it another 10 years and transistors will stop getting smaller, they were saying back then. But in the end, the creativity of engineers turned out to be greater than the pessimism of the forecasters. Yet today I believe that we are close to the end of Moore’s Law.... » read more

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