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Synopsys researchers hold high hopes for silicon nanowires

Posted: 08 Apr 2016     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Synopsys  silicon  nanowire  FinFET  Moore's Law 

Synopsys researchers have revealed that FinFET is dying, III-V on silicon is dead before its time, and the silicon nanowire transistor will extend Moore's Law all the way to single atom transistors round about 2043.

Invited speaker Victor Moroz, a Synopsys scientist cited sources claiming that "Moore's Law won't end until 2043 when there will be one atom per transistor," that "FinFETs are fading in importance" and that the nanowire is a much better solution than FinFETs or FD-SOI [fully-deleted silicon-on insulator].

Victor Moroz

Figure 1: Victor Moroz, a Synopsys Scientist, says the future of transistors is silicon nanowire channels all the way to the end of Moore's Law. (Source: EE Times)

To back up his learned opinion, Moroz had over 50 slides chock-full of information amassed by Synopsis on the future of transistor technology in his talk called "Technologoy Inflection Points" which he enumerated as 14-to-10-to-5-to-3-to-2-to-1nm nodes.

Moore's Law

Figure 2: Experts disagree about when the end of Moore's Law will be—Fairchild seems to say 2043, Kooney;s Law says 2048, but Philips CEO implies never. (Source: EE Times)

"This is how Moore's Law will end," Moroz prefaced his diatribe, sounding as if he meant T. S. Eliot's famous "not with a bang, but a whimper."

Parasitic capacitance

Figure 3: Parasitic capacitance is going out of control as the nodes advance toward 1nm. (Source: EE Times)

One whimper is parasitic capacitance, which Moroz said gets worse with each next-generation node. Regarding FinFETs and FD-SOI, both are running out of gas even though they have only been popular for the last few years. FinFET's fins are getting too high and due to start drooping at 7nm, while FD-SOI is inferior at scaling compared to nanowires. As for putting III-V transistor channels on silicon chips, Moroz believes that proposition is dead-before-it-starts, since it could only improve a few technology nodes before silicon again beats it out.


Figure 4: FD-SOI fairs worst, FinFETs gracefully bows out, while silicon nanowire go the distance to the end of the road. (Source: EE Times)

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