What’s After CMOS?


Chipmakers continue to scale the CMOS transistor to finer geometries, but the question is for how much longer. The current thinking is that the CMOS transistor could scale at least to the 3nm node in the 2021 timeframe. And then, CMOS could run out of gas, prompting the need for a new switch technology. So what’s after the CMOS-based transistor? Carbon nanotubes and graphene get the most a... » read more

Manufacturing Bits: Jan. 7


Climbing Terminator Robots Simon Fraser University has developed a family of climbing robots that mimic the stickiness of gecko lizard feet. Based on a “footpad terminator” adhesive technology, the robots could be used in space missions and on Earth. The climbing robot, called Abigaille, features six legs. This allows the robots to crawl on vertical and horizontal structures. The techno... » read more

Tunnel FETs Emerge In Scaling Race


Traditional CMOS scaling will continue for the foreseeable future, possibly to the 5nm node and perhaps beyond, according to many chipmakers. In fact, chipmakers already are plotting out a path toward the 5nm node, but needless to say, the industry faces a multitude of challenges along the road. Presently, the leading transistor candidates for 5nm are the usual suspects—III-V finFETs; gate... » read more

What’s After 10nm?


For some time, chipmakers have roughly doubled the transistor count at each node, while simultaneously cutting the cost by around 29%. IC scaling, in turn, enables faster and lower cost chips, which ultimately translates into cheaper electronic products with more functions. Consumers have grown accustomed to the benefits of Moore’s Law, but the question is for how much longer? Chips based ... » read more

What Comes After FinFETs?


By Mark LaPedus The semiconductor industry is currently making a major transition from conventional planar transistors to finFETs starting at 22nm. The question is what’s next? In the lab, IBM, Intel and others have demonstrated the ability to scale finFETs down to 5nm or so. If or when finFETs runs out of steam, there are no less than 18 different next-generation candidates that could o... » read more

New Terms, New Problems


At the distant forefront of research there is very little marketing. After all, what’s the point? Until recently, much of this stuff was theoretical physics, and products weren’t even a consideration. It wasn’t until the past decade when we could actually see atoms. We had to theorize them. And it wasn’t until the past few years when we actually began taking stacked die seriously. Bu... » read more

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