industry news
Subscribe to EE Journal Daily Newsletter

Imec demonstrates for the first time sub-10nm germanium gate-all-around devices

KYOTO (Japan) – June 08, 2017 – At this week’s 2017 Symposia on VLSI Technology and Circuits, imec, the world-leading research and innovation hub in nano-electronics and digital technology unveiled new process improvements for next-generation devices. For the first time, scaled strained germanium p-channel Gate-All-Around (GAA) FETs are shown with sub-10nm diameter, integrated on a 300mm platform. In addition, the research center has obtained a significant improvement in device performance and electrostatic control with high-pressure anneal (HPA) for both strained germanium p-channel FinFET and GAA devices.

High-mobility materials such as germanium and III-V have been considered as potential solutions for deeply scaled devices, due to their higher intrinsic carrier mobility. However, these materials have a larger permittivity and a smaller bandgap than silicon, making it more difficult to apply the necessary electrostatic control at scaled gate lengths. To mitigate this issue, new device architectures with better electrostatics are necessary. Imec’s results bring significant improvements for both strained germanium p-channel FinFET and gate all around (GAA) devices.

Nadine Collaert, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff at imec, says that her team “adapted the process flow of our previously published 14/16nm-node strained germanium p-finFETs to study the benefit of strained germanium GAA p-FETs at short gate lengths and sub-10nm diameter.” The team managed to process GAA p-FETs with the shortest gate lengths (LG=40nm) and smallest nanowire diameter (d=9nm) reported to date. At these shortest gate lengths, the devices maintain excellent electrostatic control with a drain-induced barrier lowering of 30mV/V and a sub-threshold slope of 79mV/dec.

In a second paper, imec reports on the use of high-pressure anneal (HPA) as a new performance booster for both germanium FinFETs and GAA devices. In their test, the researchers measured an improved interface quality and hole mobility (~600 cm2/Vs) as a result of a HPA at 450°C. The optimized HPA is also shown to significantly improve the electrostatics and overall performance of GAA devices, reaching SSLIN of 65 mV/dec at LG=60 nm and a Q factor of 15 with a low IOFF of ~3×10-9 A/μm.

Imec’s research into advanced logic scaling is performed in cooperation with imec’s key partners in its core CMOS programs including GlobalFoundries, Huawei, Intel, Micron, Qualcomm, Samsung, SK Hynix, Sony Semiconductor Solutions and TSMC.

About imec
Imec is the world-leading research and innovation hub in nano-electronics and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, and energy.
As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities we bring together close to 3,500 brilliant minds from over 75 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and also has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, and offices in India and Japan. In 2016, imec’s revenue (P&L) totaled 496 million euro. Further information on imec can be found at

Leave a Reply

featured blogs
Aug 18, 2017
After leaving the title of yesterday's post in German, the obvious place to go for the next stop on the summer of computer museums is Germany. If you ask people which was the first digital computer, the answer tends to vary with the respondent's nationality. Do comp...
Aug 16, 2017
With our last web update, we brought you a major update to our on-site search capabilities, an update to how we serve static webfiles on the website, and a few new content pages for industry standard products. In July, we continued to make improvements to our recently rele...
Aug 09, 2017
Recall for a moment a scene—you’ve probably witnessed something like it at trade shows or on video dozens of times. A robot arm moves purposefully from its rest position. It swoops down on an object—a sphere, say—plucks it up, holds it aloft, replaces it, ...
Aug 03, 2017
Speedcore eFPGAs are embeddable IP that include look-up tables, memories, and DSP building blocks, allowing designers to add a programmable logic fabric to their SoC. The Speedcore IP can be configured to any size as dictated by the end application. The SoC supplier defines t...