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Thinner Channels With 2D Semiconductors


Moving to future nodes will require more than just smaller features. At 3/2nm and beyond, new materials are likely to be added, but which ones and exactly when will depend upon an explosion of material science research underway at universities and companies around the globe. With field-effect transistors, a voltage applied to the gate creates an electric field in the channel, bending the ban... » read more

COVID-19 Tech Bits


Tech companies, consortiums and universities are jumping in to help fight COVID-19, deploying everything from massive computing capabilities to developing new technologies that can protect medical workers and first responders. Nearly all of these have ramped up over the past several weeks, as the tech world begins to take on a global challenge to combat the deadly virus. Compute resources... » read more

System Bits: Oct. 1


Jumping the gap in microchips A quasi-particle that travels along the interface of a metal and dielectric material may be the solution to problems caused by shrinking electronic components, according to an international team of engineers. "Microelectronic chips are ubiquitous today," said Akhlesh Lakhtakia, Evan Pugh University Professor and Charles Godfrey Binder Professor of Engineering S... » read more

System Bits: Feb. 26


Firefly microstructures in LED light bulbs Pennsylvania State University researchers wanted to improve the energy efficiency of commercial light-emitting diode light bulbs to save even more energy. They found the answer in the lantern surface of fireflies. "LED lightbulbs play a key role in clean energy," said Stuart (Shizhuo) Yin, professor of electrical engineering at Penn State. "Overall... » read more

System Bits: Sept. 25


Schottky diodes: One 2D material equation to rule them all Specifying the right materials for the heterostructure of 2D Schottky diodes—which consist of a metal touching a semiconductor—means designers have to wade through sometimes conflicting theoretical models to select materials. “It is not uncommon to see a model, whose underlying physics fundamentally contradicts with the physical ... » read more

System Bits: July 10


Foldable electronic switches and sensors Using inexpensive materials, UC Berkeley engineers have created a method to fabricate foldable electronic switches and sensors directly onto paper, along with prototype generators, supercapacitors and other electronic devices for what they said is a range of applications. Besides the fact that it is readily available and low cost, the team pointed ou... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Aug. 1


Concentrating photovoltaics Engineers at Penn State University and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign tested a new concentrating photovoltaic solar system, which they say can produce over 50% more energy per day than standard silicon solar cells. In contrast to silicon solar panels, which currently dominate the market at 15 to 20 percent efficiency, concentrating photovoltaics (... » read more

TFETs Cut Sub-Threshold Swing


One of the main obstacles to continued transistor scaling is power consumption. As gate length decreases, the sub-threshold swing (SS) — the gate voltage required to change the drain current by one order of magnitude — increases. As Qin Zhang, Wei Zhao, and Alan Seabaugh of Notre Dame explained in 2006, SS faces a theoretical minimum of 60 mV/decade at room temperature in conventional MO... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: Feb. 7


Infrared links for data centers Researchers at Penn State, Stony Brook University and Carnegie Mellon University developed a free space optical link for communication in data centers using infrared lasers and receivers mounted on top of data center racks. According to Mohsen Kavehrad, professor of electrical engineering at Penn State, "It uses a very inexpensive lens, we get a very narrow... » read more

Managing Parasitics For Transistor Performance


The basic equations describing transistor behavior rely on parameters like channel doping, the capacitance of the gate oxide, and the resistance between the source and drain and the channel. And for most of the IC industry's history, these have been sufficient. “Parasitic” or “external” resistances and capacitances from structures outside the transistor have been small enough to discoun... » read more

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