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Primeur weekly 2017-04-10

Exascale supercomputing

EUROSERVER paves the way for low-power data centres ...

Intersect360 Research to provide USCC testimony for China's Pursuit of Next Frontier Tech hearing ...

Quantum computing

'Virtual' interferometers may overcome scale issues for optical quantum computers ...

Quantum-physical model system ...

Optics advance quantum information processing ...

Focus on Europe

A glance into the ISC 2017 Research Paper Session ...

OCF announce Iceotope as liquid cooling partner for research and academic market ...

Return of the mini-supercomputer in the Netherlands: Little Green Machine II ...

Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry chooses vSMP Foundation ...

PRACE opens SHAPE 5th Call for Proposals ...

IBM invests to accelerate innovation, collaboration and fast-track health care solutions in Finland ...

73% of academics say access to research data helps them in their work; 34% do not publish their data ...

Middleware

DDN Lustre powers University of Edinburgh accelerated genomics research ...

Hardware

Supercomputer growth drives record HPC revenue in 2016, Hyperion Research reports ...

Canada's most powerful academic supercomputer will launch at Simon Fraser University ...

Silicon Mechanics Announces Recipient of 6th Annual Research Cluster Grant ...

U.S. businesses risk falling behind as lead in global semiconductor industry threatened ...

Fujitsu and Oracle launch Fujitsu SPARC M12 servers with world's fastest per-core performance ...

IBM Researchers advance the understanding of chip reliability at IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium ...

Applications

Artificial intelligence: Bosch and University of Amsterdam to cooperate closely ...

Cyber gene network could speed up discoveries ...

How can network analysis lead to a new way of studying court decisions? ...

IBM patents machine learning models for drug discovery ...

Clemson scientists receive $2.95 million to improve and simplify large-scale data analysis ...

New brain-inspired cybersecurity system detects 'bad apples' 100 times faster ...

Supercomputers reveal how cell membranes keep cancer-causing proteins turned off ...

The Cloud

IBM opens Budapest Software Lab to develop Cloud Video solutions ...

IBM first to deliver latest NVIDIA GPU accelerator on the Cloud to speed AI workloads ...

University of Wyoming uses Oracle Cloud to drive core mission of teaching, research, and service ...

Industry experts discuss advantages and risks of shifting data analytics to the Cloud ...

IBM Researchers advance the understanding of chip reliability at IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium

3 Apr 2017 Albany - IBM semiconductor and technology researchers have presented five papers on the technical and material advancement of its next-generation chip development, including the 7 nanometer node, at the IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium (IRPS), April 4-6, 2017.

In pursuit of a mass-manufacturable 7nm chip, and beyond, the IBM team has presented papers illustrating progress across:

  • insulator material to improve chip operation voltage;
  • techniques to model Line Edge Roughness (LER) variation in the spacing between wires on a chip, which impacts voltage;
  • techniques for optimal pre-screening of chip tests to better measure failure rates;
  • and compare frequency, voltage, time, and temperature dependence of transistor voltage instability in traditional silicon-channel Metal Oxide Semiconductor Field-Effect Transistors (MOSFETs) and new Silicon Germanium (SiGe)-channel devices.

The paper, "Time Dependent Dielectric Breakdown of SiN, SiBCN and SiOCN spacer dielectric", presents a comprehensive comparison of several materials that are used for the insulator in the space between the electrical contacts at the transistor level. These spacer dielectrics are some of the thinnest insulators in the chips - tested at 10nm for a 22nm chip, and at about 6nm in a 7nm chip. Understanding how the lifetime of these materials depend on the chip operation voltage is crucial.

"At the 7nm node, parasitic capacitance is projected to increase to 85 percent of device capacitance for the traditional Silicon Nitride (SiN) spacer. We need to find a material that has lower dielectric constant than SiN and is compatible with CMOS integration. "Our paper demonstrates that Silicon-Boron-Carbon-Nitride (SiBCN) and Silicon-Oxygen-Carbon-Nitride (SiOCN) meet these requirements", stated James Stathis, Manager, Electrical Characterization and Reliability, IBM Research.

IBM has implemented SiBCN in 14nm node technology, and will implement in 10nm, and 7nm node technology. SiBCN is a balanced approach to improving circuit performance and improving yield. SiOCN is also being implemented in 7nm.

Another critical aspect of insulators that affect how they fail is Line Edge Roughness (LER) and random variation in the spacing between neighboring wires. The amount of LER and other random variation is highly dependent on the chip manufacturing process. LER affects the voltage dependence and time dependence of dielectric breakdown. IBM’s two papers, "A Stochastic Model for Impact of LER on BEOL TDDB", and "A New and Holistic Modelling Approach for Impact of Line-Edge Roughness on Dielectric Reliability" address ways to model LER and other forms of spacing variation to correctly anticipate voltage effects on chip reliability.

Measuring the dielectric breakdown - the point of maximum voltage difference that can be applied across semiconductor insulator materials before the insulator collapses - in the lab, when testing fabricated chips during development, or for final acceptance from the foundry, is a time-consuming process - without knowing in advance which chips will have the shortest lifespans. In the paper, "A Process-Variation-Cognizant Efficient MOL and BEOL TDDB Evaluation Method", IBM Systems engineers from the Fabless Reliability Group, with IBM Research engineers, developed a cognitive computing technique for optimal pre-screening and test sequencing to dramatically improve the efficiency of testing.

A different reliability issue concerning the long-term threshold voltage instability of transistors is the subject of extensive research in the paper, "Comparison of DC and AC NBTI Kinetics in Si and SiGe p-FinFETs". In collaboration with IIT Bombay, IBM Research engineers have performed a comparison of the frequency, voltage, time, and temperature dependence of this phenomenon in traditional Silicon-channel MOSFETs and new SiGe-channel devices.

"The chip needs to be stable at normal operating conditions - about 1 V, and up to 125C for most applications, so the data at higher extremes are used to extrapolate to use condition", James Stathis stated. "In addition, for this work we tested at frequencies up to 1MHz. While this is far from the chip operation condition (>GHz), it is used to provide information about the NBTI mechanisms which are still very much debated."

The understanding will be crucial in assuring the reliability of these new devices for future technology nodes.
Source: IBM

Back to Table of contents

Primeur weekly 2017-04-10

Exascale supercomputing

EUROSERVER paves the way for low-power data centres ...

Intersect360 Research to provide USCC testimony for China's Pursuit of Next Frontier Tech hearing ...

Quantum computing

'Virtual' interferometers may overcome scale issues for optical quantum computers ...

Quantum-physical model system ...

Optics advance quantum information processing ...

Focus on Europe

A glance into the ISC 2017 Research Paper Session ...

OCF announce Iceotope as liquid cooling partner for research and academic market ...

Return of the mini-supercomputer in the Netherlands: Little Green Machine II ...

Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry chooses vSMP Foundation ...

PRACE opens SHAPE 5th Call for Proposals ...

IBM invests to accelerate innovation, collaboration and fast-track health care solutions in Finland ...

73% of academics say access to research data helps them in their work; 34% do not publish their data ...

Middleware

DDN Lustre powers University of Edinburgh accelerated genomics research ...

Hardware

Supercomputer growth drives record HPC revenue in 2016, Hyperion Research reports ...

Canada's most powerful academic supercomputer will launch at Simon Fraser University ...

Silicon Mechanics Announces Recipient of 6th Annual Research Cluster Grant ...

U.S. businesses risk falling behind as lead in global semiconductor industry threatened ...

Fujitsu and Oracle launch Fujitsu SPARC M12 servers with world's fastest per-core performance ...

IBM Researchers advance the understanding of chip reliability at IEEE International Reliability Physics Symposium ...

Applications

Artificial intelligence: Bosch and University of Amsterdam to cooperate closely ...

Cyber gene network could speed up discoveries ...

How can network analysis lead to a new way of studying court decisions? ...

IBM patents machine learning models for drug discovery ...

Clemson scientists receive $2.95 million to improve and simplify large-scale data analysis ...

New brain-inspired cybersecurity system detects 'bad apples' 100 times faster ...

Supercomputers reveal how cell membranes keep cancer-causing proteins turned off ...

The Cloud

IBM opens Budapest Software Lab to develop Cloud Video solutions ...

IBM first to deliver latest NVIDIA GPU accelerator on the Cloud to speed AI workloads ...

University of Wyoming uses Oracle Cloud to drive core mission of teaching, research, and service ...

Industry experts discuss advantages and risks of shifting data analytics to the Cloud ...