Researchers from University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) introduced the highest performing III-V metal-oxide semiconductor (MOS) field-effect transistors (FETs) this week at the 2014 Symposium on VLSI Technology.
The UCSB research promises to help deliver higher semiconductor performance at lower power consumption levels for next-generation, high-performance servers. The research is supported by the Semiconductor Research Corporation (SRC), the world’s leading university-research consortium for semiconductors and related technologies.
The UCSB team’s III-V MOSFETs, for the first time in the industry, exhibit on-current, off-current and operating voltage comparable to or exceeding production silicon devices — while being constructed at small dimensions relevant to the VLSI (very-large-scale integration) industry.
For the past decade, III-V MOSFETs have been widely studied by a large number of research groups, but no research group had reported a III-V MOSFET with a performance equal to, let alone surpassing, that of a silicon MOSFET of similar size. In particular, UCSB’s transistors possess 25 nanometer (nm) gate lengths, an on-current of 0.5mA and off-current of 100nA per micron of transistor width and require only 0.5 volt to operate.
“The goal in developing new transistors is to reach or beat performance goals while making the transistor smaller—it is no good getting high performance in a big transistor,” said Mark Rodwell, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UCSB. “In time, the UCSB III-V MOSFET should perform significantly better than silicon FinFETs of equal size.”