UK researchers find way to reduce power consumption of transistors in computer chips

Dec 06, 2005

University of Kentucky researchers have discovered a means of reducing gate leakage current of transistors in computer chips that will permit chip producers to continue developing more efficient and powerful chips with reduced power consumption.

Zhi Chen, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, found that applying rapid thermal processing directly on gate insulators – used to control current flow of transistors in computer chips – can dramatically reduce the chips' leakage current and correspondingly the power consumption. In fact, the technique can improve the insulating qualities of gate insulators so that their direct tunneling current is reduced by 10,000 to 100,000 times. No effect was found if rapid thermal processing was not directly applied on the gate insulators.

In order to improve computer chips' performance, transistors' size and gate insulators have to be continuously shrunken so that more components can be packed into a single chip. Computer chip producers were hitting a wall in downscaling the transistors and gate insulators because of their inability to reduce the leakage current of the existing gate insulators. This new technique will help the chip producers to develop more powerful chips with low-power consumption.

Chen and his team will present their findings in a paper to be presented Dec. 7-9 at the 2005 International Semiconductor Device Research Symposium in Bethesda, Md.

Source: University of Kentucky

Explore further: What's fair?: New theory on income inequality

Related Stories

Researchers exploring spintronics in graphene

May 06, 2015

Electronics is based on the manipulation of electrons and other charge carriers, but in addition to charge, electrons possess a property known as spin. When spin is manipulated with magnetic and electric ...

Recommended for you

What's fair?: New theory on income inequality

3 hours ago

The increasing inequality in income and wealth in recent years, together with excessive pay packages of CEOs in the U.S. and abroad, is of growing concern, especially to policy makers. Income inequality was ...

Scientists one step closer to mimicking gamma-ray bursts

9 hours ago

Using ever more energetic lasers, Lawrence Livermore researchers have produced a record high number of electron-positron pairs, opening exciting opportunities to study extreme astrophysical processes, such ...

Physicists solve quantum tunneling mystery

12 hours ago

An international team of scientists studying ultrafast physics have solved a mystery of quantum mechanics, and found that quantum tunneling is an instantaneous process.

How spacetime is built by quantum entanglement

12 hours ago

A collaboration of physicists and a mathematician has made a significant step toward unifying general relativity and quantum mechanics by explaining how spacetime emerges from quantum entanglement in a more ...

Experiment confirms quantum theory weirdness

12 hours ago

The bizarre nature of reality as laid out by quantum theory has survived another test, with scientists performing a famous experiment and proving that reality does not exist until it is measured.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.