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Week In Review: Manufacturing, Test


Node scaling wars are revving up, although much of the action is happening where most people can't see it — inside of research labs. This is difficult stuff, which makes delivery dates difficult to pinpoint, and no one wants to give away their competitive position or commit to a timeline they can't keep. Billions of dollars of leading-edge research — funded by pure-play foundry TSMC, IDM... » read more

Interfacial ferroelectricity in marginally twisted 2D semiconductors


Abstract "Twisted heterostructures of two-dimensional crystals offer almost unlimited scope for the design of new metamaterials. Here we demonstrate a room temperature ferroelectric semiconductor that is assembled using mono- or few-layer MoS2. These van der Waals heterostructures feature broken inversion symmetry, which, together with the asymmetry of atomic arrangement at the interface of tw... » read more

2D Semiconductors Make Progress, But Slowly


Researchers are looking at a variety of new materials at future nodes, but progress remains slow. In recent years, 2D semiconductors have emerged as a leading potential solution to the problem of channel control in highly scaled transistors. As devices shrink, the channel thickness should shrink proportionally. Otherwise, the gate capacitance won’t be large enough to control the flow of cu... » read more

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

Making Silicon Photonics Chips More Reliable


Silicon photonics has the ability to dramatically improve on-die and chip-to-chip communication within a package at extremely low power, but ensuring that signal integrity remains consistent over time isn't so simple. While this technology has been used commercially for at least the past decade, it never has achieved mainstream status. That's mostly due to the fact that Moore's Law scaling h... » 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

System Bits: Oct. 11


Carbon Is So 2015 Researchers at MIT have created a supercapacitor that relies on a material other than carbon. This new class of materials, called metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), are a porous and sponge-like, according to MIT, tthereby providing a much larger surface area than carbon. As with most things electrical, more surface area is essential for superconductors. The problem the re... » read more

Power/Performance Bits: May 24


Reducing MRAM chip area Researchers from Tohoku University developed a technology to stack magnetic tunnel junctions (MTJ) directly on the via without causing deterioration to its electric/magnetic characteristics. The team focused on reducing the memory cell area of spin-transfer torque magnetic random access memory (STT-MRAM) in order to lower manufacturing costs, making them more compe... » read more

Atomic Layer Etch Finally Emerges


The migration towards finFETs and other devices at the 20nm node and beyond will require a new array of chip-manufacturing technologies. Multiple patterning, hybrid metrology and newfangled interconnect schemes are just a few of the technologies required for future scaling. In addition, the industry also will require new techniques that can process structures at the atomic level. For example... » read more