July 10, 2007 – A European Commission-sponsored research project involving 38 partner organizations says it has developed a functional demo of a CMOS SRAM built with 32nm design rules.
PULLNANO, a project within the 6th Framework Program, is working to develop knowledge to help keep European chipmakers at the leading edge from 2010, when 32nm CMOS technology is expected to be commercially available.
The consortium says its functional SRAM uses an innovative MOS transistor device architecture slightly different from 45nm devices, using a low-power approach on fully depleted SOI coupled with a gate stack (high-k gate dielectric and a single metal electrode stack). PULLNANO says it hopes to demonstrate an even smaller cell before the end of this year.
The group also recently reported results relating to backend-of-line results, demonstrating that material and integration schemes used in 45nm processes can be modified for 32nm, adding that an “air gap” technique can be used to boost performance for 32nm and 22nm.
In addition, PULLNANO says its academic partners have developed “innovative approaches” in their modeling/simulation work for predicting device performance for 32nm and 22nm-node CMOS, including new simulators that allow pre-fabrication evaluation of technology options such as channel material and the choice of high-k dielectric.
The PULLNANO project, coordinated by Gilles Thomas, STMicroelectronics’ R&D cooperative programs manager, was formed in early 2006 as a 30-month project under the 6th Framework Program, as a continuation from the NanoCMOS project formed in early 2004 to focus on 45nm process technologies. Its initial goal is to show a feasible demo of 32nm frontend and backend process modules through a SRAM chip and multilevel metal stack structure. Work is done with “close relation” to MEDEA+ programs, where PULLNANO results are continued toward commercialization.
PULLNANO partners include ST’s Crolles partners NXP, Freescale, and Philips, as well as Infineon and Qimonda and vendor partners, research groups, and academic partners hailing from across Europe: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Poland, Sweden, Switzerland, and the UK.