Эволюция транзисторов. Источник изображения: Samsung

Samsung successfully builds a 3nm chip with brand new transistors: faster, more economical, denser


Samsung has announced a prototype 256-Mbit SRAM array using 3nm process technology and advanced new MBCFET transistors. The sample made it possible to confirm the characteristics of the future technical process. Thus, Samsung has stepped from theory to practice and it can be expected that it will launch 3-nm semiconductor production as early as next year.

Evolution of transistors. Image source: Samsung

Evolution of transistors. Image source: Samsung

It should be said that the abbreviation MBCFET (multi-bridge channel FET) in the name of a new type of transistor is a registered trademark of Samsung. In a broad sense, these are the so-called GAAFET transistors with a ring or all-encompassing gate, when a channel or several channels of a transistor are surrounded by a gate on all four sides.

This concept was introduced back in 1988 and has been well studied theoretically, but the reason to switch to this structure appeared only now, since the classic FinFET transistors with vertical fins cease to work normally with technological standards less than 5 nm. In the case of a further increase in productivity and a decrease in consumption with a simultaneous decrease in the physical size of transistors (in the process of decreasing technological standards), it becomes more difficult to control transistor channels. Therefore, increasing the contact area between the gate and the channel due to the full coverage of the channel is a simple way out of the situation, which, which is very important, allows the production of new transistors on the same equipment.

We add that an important innovation in the production of chips on MBCFET (GAAFET) transistors will be the ability to set the width of the nano-page channels, as well as their number in each transistor, for each individual case. For example, for more efficient logic, the width of nanopages can be increased, and for blocks with low consumption, it can be reduced.

Moreover, it becomes possible to design so flexibly that even in a single six-transistor SRAM unit cell, part of the transistors can be created with wide nano-channel channels, and some with narrow ones. This is exactly what Samsung has demonstrated with its prototype 256Mbit 3nm SRAM array. Measurements showed that switching to a cell with mixed transistors out of the blue reduced the write voltage by 256 mV.

Image source: Samsung

Controlling the width of the nanopage channels is easier than adding new edges in FinFETs. Image source: Samsung

Finally, the company has proven its ability to achieve new levels of productivity and efficiency. So, in comparison with the 7nm 7LPP process technology, the operating speed of 3nm MBCFET transistors has grown to 30% (with the same level of consumption and complexity), and when operating at the same frequencies and the same complexity, the consumption has decreased to 50%. The increase in the density of transistors in the mixed circuit (SRAM plus logic) was up to 80%.

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