Device Proposals Beyond Silicon CMOS

P. M. Solomon

IBM, SRDC, T.J. Watson Research Center Yorktown Heights, NY 10598, U.S.A.

1.   Introduction

As the end of the silicon evolutionary path nears, alternative devices are being proposed on an urgent basis. Such devices involve different materials such as carbon, III-V semiconductors, etc., different geometries, such as nanotubes, nanowires and graphenoid sheets, and different operating principles involving collective phenomena such as coherent tunneling and ferroelectricity and density of states engineering for band-to-band tunneling FETs. All add to a weird device menagerie that needs some sorting out. These device proposals are mostly not new, but they are enabled by the march of technology and the apparent need for a device that breaks the inflexible switching-energy vs. performance limit of silicon CMOS technology. Meanwhile the goalposts shift continually with the evolution of CMOS technology and system design. Here I will attempt to describe and evaluate the most promising to the most outlandish of these devices in terms of future needs for large scale computation.

2.   Industry view

End of CMOS scenarios and successor technologies to CMOS have been the fascination of the semiconductor industry for at least the past decade. Numerous project initiatives and focus centers have provided support into research on alternative devices, circuits and architectures, most notably as part of the Semiconductor Research Corporation’s (www.src.org ...

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