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Posted: December 8, 2009

Presentations Outline Progress in Next-Generation Memories, High-Mobility Channel Transistors, and Energy-Efficient Devices

(Nanowerk News) Senior technologists, executives, and faculty from across the semiconductor R&D community presented technical data revealing significant advances in emerging memory technologies, energy efficient devices and high mobility channel transistors at a SEMATECH-led workshop on “Emerging Technologies in Solid State Devices” held December 5-6, 2009.
The 5th annual SEMATECH workshop, co-sponsored by Tokyo Electron Limited and Aixtron AG and held in conjunction with the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM), featured a complementary set of over 40 presentations and panel discussions on cutting-edge solutions to the technical and manufacturing challenges associated with emerging nanoelectronics technologies. Workshop participants outlined important developments and challenges in the following areas:
Emerging Memory Technologies
  • A number of emerging technologies, such as 3D NAND, phase change memory (PRAM), magnetoresistive memory (MRAM), spin torque transfer memory (STT-RAM), and resistive memory (RRAM), are currently in play, and advancements include: A new understanding in resistive memory, using approaches based either on formation of conducting filaments in resistive materials or on ion transport; Embedded STT-RAM for integrated wireless device applications; The integration of 3D interconnects and memory technologies to increase memory density; The use of band gap engineering for charge trap flash memories and alternatives to conventional DRAMs such as novel single transistor DRAMS.
  • The industry has identified at least 34 materials as candidates for RRAM technology. From a manufacturing perspective, SEMATECH encouraged a focus on down-selecting, as feasible, to the dozen “green materials” that have already been accepted into fabs.
  • Guest panelists acknowledged that emerging memory technologies are promising solutions to replace scaling problems associated with current memories, concluding that emerging memories will be application-driven – with different permutations of power, density, speed, and cost – and that there are no universal memory solutions.
  • High Mobility Channel Transistors
  • Transistors using non-silicon materials such as III-V and germanium (Ge) are showing significant promise in mobility improvement, injection velocity, and voltage scaling as compared to strained silicon.
  • III-V materials based on an InGaAs system seem to be the preferred option for N channels, while either Ge or III-V (perhaps a strained antimonide-based system) may be appropriate for P channels.
  • While several critical challenges remain – including gate stacks, channels with low defect density, and suitable junction and contact technology – panel members agreed that these are not showstoppers and may be overcome with novel architectures for sub-15nm nodes.
  • Additional uses for III-V materials beyond CMOS were discussed, including RF circuits, tunneling field-effect transistors, and nanophotonic devices.
  • Energy Efficient Devices
  • Presentations featured new approaches to blending conventional and low-power electronics with More than Moore concepts, ranging from graphene-based nanomaterials, energy harvesting devices, and self-powered sensors, to NEMS and NEMory (nano-electro-mechanical non-volatile memory) devices and MEMS displays for mobile applications.
  • SEMATECH’s materials and emerging technologies technical teams are consistently innovating to develop and extend existing technologies and accelerate adoption of emerging technologies. SEMATECH has hosted workshops on the topic of III-V materials for the last several years. The objective is to exchange ideas with experts and enhance collaboration among different institutions and researchers.
    About SEMATECH
    For over 20 years, SEMATECH®, the global consortium of leading semiconductor manufacturers, has set global direction, enabled flexible collaboration, and bridged strategic R&D to manufacturing. Today, we continue accelerating the next technology revolution with our nanoelectronics and emerging technology partners.
    Source: SEMATECH
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