On the first day of the IEDM conference, BMW and Samsung unveiled a new design for assembling transistors vertically on chips. The International Meeting (IEDM) is an annual conference held annually in December to report on technological advances in the semiconductor industry.
In current processors and SoCs, the transistors are placed next to each other horizontally on the chip’s silicon surface, and then the electric current flows horizontally from side to side; But Samsung and IBM claim that as a result of their new breakthrough, vertical field effect transistors (VTFETs) are placed perpendicular to each other and the current flows vertically.
According to engadget and according to IBM and Samsung, the design of VTFET transistors has two advantages. First, it removes many of the constraints on extending Moore’s Law beyond the one-nanometer threshold, and more importantly, this design reduces energy loss by creating more current.
Moore’s Law refers to Gordon Moore’s famous prediction that the number of components of any integrated circuit will regularly double over an unpredictable period of time. This period was initially set at 12 months; But it later expanded to 24 months.
Samsung and IBM estimate that vertical field-effect transistors (VTFETs) produce processors twice as fast as chips designed with field-effect transistors (FinFETs) and reduce power consumption by 85 percent. They claim that this process may enable the phones to be efficient for a week on a single full charge.
VTFET technology, with its efficient use of energy, will help measures such as the extraction of digital currencies have less harmful effects on the environment; However, IBM and Samsung have not yet set a date for the commercialization of their design.
This is not the first time that attempts have been made to produce chips below one nanometer. Intel also announced in July 2021 (July 1400) that it planned to complete the design of Angstrom-scale processors by 2024 (1403) using the new Intel 20A processor and RibbonFET transistors; The letter A in the Intel 20A process means “angstrom” (equivalent to 0.1 nm), and with this manufacturing process, Intel has introduced a new architecture called “RibbonFET” (accelerator) to increase the speed of current change in transistors.
How do you assess the future of processors produced with the new design of Samsung and IBM? Which of the two companies and Intel will use this technology sooner?