SUNNYVALE, Calif. -- Hoping to beat IBM, Intel, TSMC and others to the punch, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. here today announced it has fabricated the world's smallest double-gate transistors--based on a Fin Field Effect Transistor (FinFET) technology.
Measuring a mere 10-nm (0.01-micron)--or ten billionths of a meter in length (gate)--AMD's FinFET technology could foster the development of a 1-billion transistor device, such as a microprocessor.
The CMOS-based FinFET technology is a collaborative research effort between AMD and the University of California, Berkeley, with support from the Semiconductor Research Corp. (SRC). The devices were fabricated in AMD's Submicron Development Center.
A sneak preview of AMD's FinFET technology was disclosed to the media last week. As reported in Electronic Engineering Times, AMD and the University of California will present the paper, entitled "FinFET Scaling to 10-nm Gate Length" at the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco from December 9-11.
At the event, IBM Corp.'s Microelectronics Division will also disclose a similar technology (see June 11 story ).
Others are also scrambling to develop similar devices. For example, silicon foundry giant Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. recently announced a similar FinFET structure, also based on the work at the University of California, Berkeley (see June 11 story ).
And at the Intel Developer Forum this week, Intel officials have dropped hints about the development of a tri-gate transistor structure within the processor giant.
Meanwhile, AMD's FinFET design relies upon a thin vertical silicon "fin" to help control leakage of current through the transistor when it is in the "off" stage. This design combination allows for the creation of new chips with enhanced performance and ever-shrinking geometries.
"Transistor development is essential to the creation of higher-performing products for our customers," said Craig Sander, AMD's vice president of Technology Development, in a statement."The entire semiconductor industry is working to meet the increasing challenges of developing new transistor designs that are smaller and higher-performing and yet can be manufactured with minimal deviation from today's industry standard manufacturing processes," he said.
"The FinFET transistor indicates we can continue to deliver very high performance products while preserving the basic technology infrastructure our industry relies upon," he said.