3D Transistors Promise 50GHz Processors

Japanese R&D firm Unisantis claims that their new Surrounding Gate Transistor technology will have processor clockspeeds reach 50GHz.

The Japanese firm is entering a 24-month collaborative agreement with Singapore's Institute of Microelectronics for simultaneous design work.

By using a 3D structure that arranges components vertically, Unisantis believes that they can reach clockspeeds ranging between 20GHZ to 50 GHz. Current technology lays transistors in a 2D horizontal plane

The design is headed by the man credited for the invention of flash memory, Fujio Masuoka, CTO of Unisantis. Masuoka will be joined by some 30 academics, engineers and scientists on the project.

According to Masuoko, SGT is a vertical silicon pillar surrounded by memory cells, electrical contacts and various other unnamed components. The 3-D structure should reduce the distance that electrons travel, generate less heat and cost less to produce than existing chips.

"The SGT also allows further improvements in silicon-based semiconductors, in terms of transistor size and processing speed, for at least 30 more years before the theoretical limits are reached. Such improvements are necessary for new-generation IC chips to meet the computing power demanded by IT products and computing networks of ever-increasing functionality and complexity," said Masuoka.

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