Quantum tunneling avoids thermal noise in analog circuits

Quantum tunneling avoids thermal noise in analog circuits

Technology News |
By Peter Clarke

Analog IP developer SiliconIntervention Inc. (Kelowna, British Columbia) has said it can eliminate thermal noise in analog circuits by the use of quantum tunnelling.

“Unswitched capacitor-based signal processing that exhibits no thermal noise is a means to achieve the lowest possible current consumption in high-performance signal processing,” said Martin Mallinson, chief scientist and founder at SiliconIntervention. He added: “And the use of quantum tunneling found within thin gate oxides in today’s advanced CMOS processes can be used to great advantage in achieving just this.”

The company has worked with the University of British Columbia under a Canadian government sponsored program to produce a test silicon circuit. The silicon was manufactured by GlobalFoundries Inc. in its 22nm FDSOI CMOS manufacturing process with support from CMC Microsystems Inc. (Montreal, Canada). Dima Kilani, Research Fellow, University of British Columbia, was due to present the results in a poster session at IEEE BioCAS 2023 on October 20. Mallinson said the proof-of-concept chip demonstrates the no thermal noise.

The company said that quantum tunnelling is a technique that falls in line with others it uses for analog and mixed-signal circuits.

Allan Cox, CEO of SiliconIntervention, said: “While tunneling in transistor gate oxides becomes an increasingly difficult problem for the digital designer to accommodate, innovative use in analog circuit design has now been shown to be the basis for a new generation of state-of-the-art low-power circuits from amplifiers to data converters and the whole spectrum of analog and mixed signal devices.”

The company was founded by Mallinson in 2019.

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