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Exostiv’s data flow. of feeding the data of more than 32,000 nodes over the FPGA multi-gigabit transceivers. Transferred through up to four 6.6Gb/s lanes to an external memory up to 8GByte, the data can then be further analysed using the company’s MYRIAD Waveform Viewer, designed to handle Terabytes of information. In a whitepaper titled “FPGA verification tools need an upgrade”, Leens lists the debug limitations (economical or physical) that todays’ FPGA designers have to face, also highlighting the fact that in high-end FPGAs, the logic resources are increasing much faster than the amount of memory, making it unrealistic to rely on the FPGAs’ memory alone to extract info and look into the logic. Although the new debug solution was developed in-house based on the company’s own expertise of commercially available FPGAs, Leens would welcome some form of partnership with FPGA vendors, whereby some of Yugo Systems’ IP could find its way as hardened blocks to further boost design observability. For now, Exostiv is proposed in beta to specific key customers and will be fully available during the second quarter of 2015. Yugo Systems will reveal more details about features and pricing during the first quarter of 2015. FeFET to extend Moore’s law By R. Colin Johnson Universal memory replacing DRAM, SRAM, flash and nearly every transistor in a computer may result from their successful fabrication of a ferroelectric gate over germanium channel material, according to researchers at the University of Texas (Austin). Their successful ferroelectric gate stack holds the hope of extending Moore’s Law beyond the end of the International Technology Roadmap for Semiconductors (ITRS) circa 2028. “We have not yet built a complete ferroelectric field-effect transistor -- or FeFET -- but we have proven that our detailed simulations on the supercomputer at the Texas Advanced Computing Center can be realized in the lab,” professor Alexander Demkov told EE Times. “What we have done is build the complete gate stack and gotten the material and fabrication techniques right -- our next step will be to fabricate the germanium channel to complete the FeFET.” FeFETs are desirable because they can be scaled beyond the end of the silicon roadmap, as predicted by ITRS, using a faster semiconductor for the channels- -either germanium (Ge) or gallium arsenide (GaAs), all built on standard silicon CMOS wafers. With a computer built completely from FeFETs, everything in it would remember its state when you turn it off, making it instant-on, and right where you left it when you hit the off button. “We have not experimented with memory architectures for our FeFET, but believe that it could serve as a universal memory since it is faster than DRAM and denser than flash,” Demkov told us. Demkov collaborated with the University of Texas (UT) doctoral The measurement set-up using negative-biased conductive scanning probe to sense switching in ferroelectric layer. (Source: University of Texas) candidate, Patrick Ponath, on the project, as well as with researcher in other departments, as well as with Arizona State University and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Currently Demkov has colleagues at the University of Texas working on a chemical deposition technique to etch the germanium channels to complete the FeFET project. “We don’t have the facilities to easily fabricate germanium or gallium arsenide channels for our FeFET, but we hope that an industrial partner will step forward to help us when it is time to commercialize this new process technology,” Demkov told us. The most difficult part of creating the process involved growing the barium titanate (BaTiO3) gate in a 3-D orientation using molecular beam epitaxy so that its dipoles could be switched vertically. Their success was verified using piezoelectric-force and microwave-impedance microscopy. Other applications include ultra-high density memories, super efficient photovoltaic cells and faster nonvolatile reconfigurable logic. The ferroelectric material pictured on a germanium channel above a silicon substrate retains its polarization indefinitely making any computers built from FeFETs instant-on. (Source: University of Texas) 14 Electronic Engineering Times Europe February 2015 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE FEB 2015
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