Wednesday, October 27, 2010

#CHIPS: "IBM, Euro researchers seek CMOS successor"

CMOS chips today--used in everything from cell phones to supercomputers--are running hotter and consuming more standby current by virtue of their leaky gates caused by too much shrickage to make chips ultra-small and cheap. Now the European Union is aiming to solve the problem with a new kind of transistor that runs cooler and consumes almost zero power in standby mode. Look for a new generation of cooler running electronic devices with longer battery life from the E.U. Steep program within three years. R. Colin Johnson, Kyoto Prize Fellow @NextGenLog

Dr. Heike Riel, who leads the nanoscale electronics group at IBM Research Zurich, is part of Project Steep.
Here is what EETimes says about Steep: IBM Research Zurich, Infineon Technologies AG and Globalfoundries Inc. have joined forces with a half dozen European universities and research centers on a mission to cut the power consumption of electronic devices by 10-fold and reduce standby power to zero. Called Steep—because of the steep cutoff slope leading to zero standby power—the European Union-funded project aims to perfect the tunneling field-effect transistor (T-FET) using nanowire channels of silicon, silicon germanium and III-V-on-silicon. The three-year $5.5 million effort aims to create processes that can be run on CMOS lines to facilitate a smooth switchover from today's complementary metal-oxide semiconductors (CMOS) to T-FETs.
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