Asymmetric underlap optimization of sub-10nm finfets for realizing energy-efficient logic and robust memories

Arun Goud Akkala, Purdue University


Leakage currents in CMOS transistors have risen dramatically with technology scaling leading to significant increase in standby power consumption. Among the various transistor candidates, the excellent short channel immunity of Silicon double gate FinFETs have made them the best contender for successful scaling to sub-10nm nodes. For sub-10nm FinFETs, new quantum mechanical leakage mechanisms such as direct source to drain tunneling (DSDT) of charge carriers through channel potential energy barrier arising due to proximity of source/drain regions coupled with the high transport direction electric field is expected to dominate overall leakage. To counter the effects of DSDT and worsening short channel effects and to maintain Ion/ Ioff, performance and power consumption at reasonable values, device optimization techniques are necessary for deeply scaled transistors. In this work, source/drain underlapping of FinFETs has been explored using quantum mechanical device simulations as a potentially promising method to lower DSDT while maintaining the Ion/ Ioff ratio at acceptable levels. By adopting a device/circuit/system level co-design approach, it is shown that asymmetric underlapping, where the drain side underlap is longer than the source side underlap, results in optimal energy efficiency for logic circuits in near-threshold as well as standard, super-threshold operating regimes. In addition, read/write conflict in 6T SRAMs and the degradation in cell noise margins due to the low supply voltage can be mitigated by using optimized asymmetric underlapped n-FinFETs for the access transistor, thereby leading to robust cache memories. When gate-workfunction tuning is possible, using asymmetric underlapped n-FinFETs for both access and pull-down devices in an SRAM bit cell can lead to high-speed and low-leakage caches. Further, it is shown that threshold voltage degradation in the presence of Hot Carrier Injection (HCI) is less severe in asymmetric underlap n-FinFETs. A lifetime projection is carried out assuming that HCI is the major degradation mechanism and it is shown that a 3.4x improvement in device lifetime is possible over symmetric underlapped n-FinFET.




Roy, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Electrical engineering|Nanotechnology

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