Intel's FinFETs are less fin and more triangle
May 21, 2012 // Peter Clarke
Reverse engineering and analysis consultancy Chipworks Inc., has posted microscope cross-sections of parts of the 22-nm Ivy Bridge processor from Intel that has revealed that the FinFETs, which Intel calls tri-gate transistors, are in fact trapezoidal, almost triangular, in cross-section.
The ICs were 64-bit, four-core Xeon E3-1230 CPUs intended for the server market, which Chipworks (Ottawa, Ontario) said it obtained in Hong Kong, China.
The triangular section is markedly different to the idealized rectangular section that Intel had shown previously in 2011. However, it is not clear whether the non-vertical sides to the fins are a non-critical manufacturing artifact or are deliberately engineered by Intel and have a critical impact on electron mobility or yield.
Gold Standard Simulations Ltd., (Glasgow, Scotland), a spin-off from the University of Glasgow led by Professor Ase Asenov as CEO, responded by saying on its website: "There is a lot of speculation about the possible advantages and disadvantages of the trapezoidal, or almost triangular, shaped 'bulk' FinFET." GSS has performed a simulation analysis of the FinFET using its statistical 3-D TCAD simulator called Garand.
GSS's simulation was used to explore the dependence of threshold voltage on gate length for the trapezoidal Intel transistor and an equivalent rectangular-fin transistor. "Clearly the rectangular fin has better short channel effects. Still, the million-dollar question is if the almost-triangular shape is on-purpose design, or is this what bulk FinFET technology can achieve in terms of the fin etching?"
The comparisons between dimensionally comparable rectangular and trapezoidal FinFETs are not markedly different but as GSS had no knowledge of doping profiles it assumed a lightly doped channel. At the same time GSS acknowledged that there is a high doping concentration stopper below the fin in the shallow trench isolation (STI) region. "Clearly FinFETs are more complicated devices in terms of understanding and visualization compared to the old bulk MOSFETs," GSS concluded.
Dick James' blog at Chipworks
GSS' discussion of trapezoidal FinFET All news
16nm FinFETs boost ARM's 64-bit big.LITTLE
September 30, 2014
TSMC and ARM today have announced the results from a key FinFET silicon validation of the ARM big.LITTLE implementation, ...
X-ray imaging reveals path to extending battery lifetimes
Electron innovation prolongs power in mobile devices
What Is Digital Power System Management?
Qualcomm increases share of smartphone processor market
Aggregating disparate data protocols from IoT
September 29, 2014
News stories about the Internet of Things tend to concentrate on consumer products like wearable tech and smart home appliances. ...
Fairchild reinvents itself
Wearable equipment market to double in 2014
ST claims 5 billion MEMS sensors shipped
- A Novel Approach to Industrial Rectifier Systems
- Putting FPGAs to Work in Software Radio Systems Handbook
- Flexible and Low Power Driving of Solenoid Coils
- How to Protect & Monetize Android Apps
InterviewCEO interview: AMS' Laney on driving a sensor-driven business
Kirk Laney, CEO of Austrian mixed-signal chip and sensor company AMS, wants to leverage the opportunity that technology affords to create new markets for sensors and sensor interfaces.
Filter WizardCheck out the Filter Wizard Series of articles by Filter Guru Kendall Castor-Perry which provide invaluable practical Analog Design guidelines.
Linear video channel
READER OFFERRead more
This month, Trinamic Motion Control is offering you to win one of four TMCM-1043 development kits for its highly integrated, NEMA 17-compatible TMCM-1043 stepDancer stepper motor module.
Offering designers an easy-to-use PC-based GUI that allows one-click modification of motor drive current, micro-stepping and other key parameters, the intuitive kits are custom designed and developed for...MORE INFO AND LAST MONTH' WINNERS...
December 15, 2011 | Texas instruments | 222901974
Unique Ser/Des technology supports encrypted video and audio content with full duplex bi-directional control channel over a single wire interface.