New transistor wafer process technology promises shorter lead times: Page 2 of 2

October 18, 2019 //By Julien Happich
wafer process
UK collaboration between Nottingham-based start-up, Search For The Next (SFN) and Glenrothes-based Semefab yielded a new transistor wafer process called Bizen, which the companies claim could disrupt the semiconductor industry.

Bipolar technology has traditionally been limited by its requirement for resistors which have the disadvantage of becoming large in size with low power devices. In contrast, a Bizen transistor uses quantum tunnel technology, enabling designers to eliminate the resistor – as with MOS devices - and take advantage of the now-controllable current. This enables the realization of a very low power circuit in which the transistor is Normally-On but not saturated, and is controlled by an isolated tunnel connection, rather than a direct metal contact to the base well, as used in traditional bipolar transistors.

Therefore, Bizen technology lets designers create a simpler circuit with far fewer layers and increased logic density. For example, the number of layers needed for a Bizen device range from four to eight for devices supporting low to high voltage operation, compared with ten to seventeen for CMOS. The power consumption drops, the size drops and the integration and speed increases, allowing complex devices to be manufactured in the large geometry fabs that exist in the UK.

Since mid-2017, SFN has been in collaboration with Semefab, the privately-owned semiconductor and MEMS fab based in Glenrothes, Scotland, for process development and qualification leading to device production.

"If Bizen can be adopted by the industry, an important prize given the reduction in die area at a given technology node comparing a Bizen and CMOS logic implementation would be the ability to wind back the Moores’ Law clock by 10 years or more and bring many ‘previous-generation’ wafer fabs back into mainstream manufacture”, said Semefab’s CEO, Allan James.

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