LONDON IBM and its joint development partners Advanced Micro Devices Inc., Freescale, STMicroelectronics, Toshiba and the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering, have claimed they have developed the first working SRAM cell implemented in a 22-nm manufacturing process. The cell was built at CNSE's 300-mm research facility in Albany, New York.
The SRAM is a basic building block of both high-performance memory and complex logic circuits such as microprocessors. The IBM 22-nm SRAM cell utilizes a conventional six-transistor design and has an area of 0.1 square microns, the company said.
The leading-edge of commercial manufacturing is 45-nm. IBM and its partners are in development with their 32-nm high-k metal gate technology. IBM-alliance researchers optimized the SRAM cell design and circuit layout to improve stability and developed several fabrication processes in order to make the new SRAM cell possible. The researchers utilized high-NA immersion lithography to print the aggressive pattern dimensions and densities.
The key enablers for the 22-nm SRAM cell include band-edge high-K metal gate stacks, transistors with less than 25-nm gate lengths, thin spacers, novel co-implants, advanced activation energy techniques, thin silicide, and damascene copper contacts.
"We are working at the ultimate edge of what is possible progressing toward advanced, next-generation semiconductor technologies," said T.C. Chen, vice president of science and technology at IBM Research. "This new development is a critical achievement in the pursuit to continually drive miniaturization in microelectronics."
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