By Quandary Peak Research
As VLSI devices shrink to atomic scales, design and analysis become increasingly challenging. Dr. Shahin Nazarian, an expert at Quandary Peak Research and a faculty member in the Electrical Engineering Department at the University of Southern California, has been conducting research on the design and analysis of high speed, energy efficient circuits and systems. He has recently co-authored numerous conference and journal papers in system-level, algorithm-level, device-level, and circuit-level design, analysis and optimization.
More than half a century ago, Gordon Moore predicted that the number of transistors in IC (Integrated Circuit) chips would double roughly every two years . The significance of this prediction is related to the role of transistors as the key logic components in the performance of electronic systems. This prediction, also referred to as Moore’s Law, has sustained its correctness for several decades and has become the primary guidance for the semiconductor community to monitor its long term goals and plans. It is important to note that Moore’s Law is not about the reduction of the size of transistors only, but also cost reduction as well. This implies that design solutions involve high level software and hardware analysis and optimization methodologies in addition to device level techniques.
As the devices have scaled down to 28nm process nodes and below, the traditional bulk CMOS technologies have faced grave challenges linked to device unpredictability and high leakage dissipation induced by short-channel effects and Process-Voltage-Temperature (PVT) variations. There have been massive R&D investments to tackle those issues to help extend Moore’s Law. In parallel, alternative metrics (such as speed per unit power) and laws have emerged as the fear of the end of Moore’s Law grows. One of the most promising solutions has been the adoption of non-planar or quasi-planar FinFET and Gate-All-Around (GAA) transistors that offer more […]