Quantum simulation sheds new light on physics of advanced transistors
Categorie(s) : Events, Life @ MINATEC, MINATEC, News, Research
Published : 3 February 2014
Researchers at INAC and Leti recently developed a quantum simulation code that is providing groundbreaking insights into the physics of advanced FD-SOI and Tri-gate transistors.
What makes the researchers’ work so significant is that semi-traditional simulation models do not factor in the quantum effects that play an increasing role as transistor sizes trend towards the 10-nm mark. For example, as electron confinement increases, the number of bands of energy available to carry electricity decreases.
To address this challenge, INAC, Leti, and STMicroelectronics partnered up under a French National Research Agency project titled Quasanova to develop TB_Sim, a quantum simulation code suitable for massively parallel computation. They used the code to model STMicroelectronics’ latest FD-SOI transistor and Leti’s next-generation Tri-gate technologies.
New electron-diffusion mechanisms
The researchers’ work resulted in a better understanding of the role played by charges trapped in oxides and confirmed their theory of how FD-SOI transistors’ backside electrode affects charge carriers. But perhaps the most important breakthrough was the identification of new electron-diffusion mechanisms.
Quantum simulation is not quite ready to replace semi-traditional methods—the calculation times required are still much too long. However, the technique does have a bright future. Transistor researchers have been trying to overcome several basic physics hurdles for a decade, and quantum simulation could help.
The Quasanova project, completed in 2013, was granted an additional round of financing through 2016.