editor's blog
Subscribe Now

What Comes After Silicon?

It’s the perennial question (or one of them): how long can silicon last?

Without giving dates, imec’s Rudy Lauwereins opined that silicon will be replaced by GaAs and by germanium.

This is like back to the future in two different ways. Germanium was the semiconductor of choice before silicon was taken up – back when few were actually making a choice. Meanwhile, GaAs was supposed to take over many years ago, and silicon refused to yield its premier position.

One of the things that gives silicon an edge is its cost: ingots of GaAs and germanium will be expensive. Which is why that’s not what imec sees coming. They see deposition (not transfer) of the materials on silicon. Why waste expensive materials on what is essentially an inactive substrate?

But, you point out… you’re going to have a hard time matching the lattices between the silicon substrate and the deposited active layer. This is true, and it’s where much of the work is being done. But that mismatch can actually be useful, providing strain that improves performance.

They are apparently working this with an unnamed company, preparing a fab transfer..

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Jun 18, 2018
Many years ago, when Nokia was at the top of its game'€”one in every three phones shipped was a Nokia'€”I chatted to the sister of a friend of mine who was something senior in Nokia finance. I think she was the controller for a good part of their Africa business. Since in...
Jun 14, 2018
Samtec has released the industry'€™s first 0.50 mm pitch edge card socket with justification beam. This design allows high-speed signals to pass through an incredibly dense connector while keeping the mating PCB at a reasonable cost. The socket'€™s justification beam is d...
Jun 7, 2018
If integrating an embedded FPGA (eFPGA) into your ASIC or SoC design strikes you as odd, it shouldn'€™t. ICs have been absorbing almost every component on a circuit board for decades, starting with transistors, resistors, and capacitors '€” then progressing to gates, ALUs...
May 24, 2018
Amazon has apparently had an Echo hiccup of the sort that would give customers bad dreams. It sent a random conversation to a random contact. A couple had installed numerous Alexa-enabled devices in the home. At some point, they had a conversation '€“ as couples are wont to...