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IBM describes strained germanium technique

Posted: 09 Dec 2004 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:ibm? semiconductor? 32nm? standard transistor?

IBM Corp. on Monday (Dec. 6) claimed that it has demonstrated a strained germanium technology that triples the performance of a standard transistor used in semiconductors.

IBM believes this new technique could help ensure continued performance improvements in chips with circuit sizes of 32nm and smaller.

The technique involves the creation of a layer of the element germanium in the critical portion of the transistor, according to IBM.

Germanium has long been known to have better conductivity than silicon. And strained germanium has been shown to have significantly better transport properties than silicon or strained silicon, according to the company.

"System performance depends on chip performance, and that will increasingly depend on new materials and design techniques rather than simple scaling," said T.C. Chen, IBM Fellow and VP of Science and Technology at IBM Research, in a statement. "With this work we've drawn from our experience introducing technologies like silicon germanium, silicon-on-insulator and strained silicon. Our focus is on the application of that learning to develop innovative solutions for our customers."

IBM will present the findings from this work in more detail at the upcoming International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco.

- Silicon Strategies

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