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gies, the work shows how post-FinFET devices can emerge, highlighting both new opportunities as well as complexities to overcome. Imec and its technology research partners demonstrated SiGe-channel devices with RMG-HK integration. Besides SiGe FinFET, a unique GAA SiGe nanowire channel formation during the gate replacement process has been demonstrated. The novel CMOS-compatible process converts fin channels to nanowires by sacrificial silicon removal during the transistor gate formation. The process may even enable future heterogeneous co-integration of fins and nanowires, as well as Si and SiGe channels. The work also demonstrates that such devices and their unique processing can lead to a drastic 2x or more improvement in reliability (NBTI) with respect to Si FinFETs. Moreover, imec demonstrated Si GAA-NW FETs based on SOI with RMG-HK. The work compares junction-based and junction-less approaches and the role of gate work function for multi-Vt implementations. New insights into the improved reliability (PBTI) with junction-less nanowire devices have been gained. Extending the heterogeneous channel integration beyond Si and SiGe, imec demonstrated for the first time strained-germanium QW FinFETs by a novel Si-fin replacement fin technique integrated with SADP process. The researchers’ results show that combining a disruptive approach such as fin replacement with advanced modules such as SADF-fin, RMG-HK, direct-contacts can enable superior QW FinFETs. The devices set the record for published strained Ge pMOS devices, outperforming by at least 40% in drive current at matched off-currents. Imec’s research into advanced logic scaling is performed in cooperation with imec’s key partners in its core CMOS programs including Globalfoundries, Intel, Micron, Panasonic, Samsung, SK hynix, Sony and TSMC. Smart shirt adorns IoT efforts By A Rick Merritt smart T-shirt with removable electronics stole the limelight at the annual ITF event in Brussels. Separately, the Imec institute that hosted the event and its affiliate the Holst Center in the Netherlands launched an Internet of Things research program and a low-power air quality sensor as its first licensable product. The T-shirt is the latest of several wearable products developed by researchers at Imec and Holst. Their related Intuitive Internet of Things program focuses on small, cheap, low power sensing and connectivity products often packed into a single chip. The T-shirt uses flexible conductive silver traces to link electrocardiogram (ECG) sensors to control electronics packaged into a board the size of an SD card. The card can be removed so the short can be washed. The card is based on a so-called MUSEIC SoC from Imec. The 180 nm chip includes an analog front end and ECG, EEG and galvanic skin response sensors as well as an Arm Cortex M0 processor. It is a follow on to a multi-sensor SoC Imec designed for Samsung’s Simband. The card weighs 7 grams, including a button-cell battery and uses an off-the-shelf Bluetooth LE chip to stream body data to a smartphone and from there to the cloud. Imec sees uses for the T-shirt that range from sports training to health care. “We want to extend the functionality of smart garments and deliver medical-grade data through looser, everyday clothes,” said Ruben de Francisco, a program manager for wearable health products at Imec and Holst. The shirt is designed as a platform to which OEMs could add sensors such as ones tracking breath rate or dehydration. LED indicators or haptics could also be added to give feedback to users. The shirt is designed to be compatible with existing textile production processes. Separately, Imec and Holst announced a new IoT program. It will develop and deploy demonstrations of sensor networks that combine data from multiple sensors and cloud services to suggest meaningful actions. Core technologies for the program include heterogeneous networking, data fusion and light weight security and authentication. As a first step, Imec and Holst developed a small nitrogen dioxide (NO2) sensor measuring less than 10 parts per billion while drawing mW-level power and is made in a GaN process. The Aireas outdoor air quality network in Eindhoven, Netherlands has been using the sensors since May, checking air quality, particularly during traffic rush hour. Imec and Holst are deploying a similar network inside the Holst Centre building in Eindhoven, providing live data over the Internet. It will use commercial temperature, humidity and CO2 sensors in addition to their proprietary NO2 sensor. In the future, they will add other proprietary sensors for CO2, volatile organic compounds, ozone, and particle matter. The new sensors are designed to replace current gas sensors that are too large in size or high in power consumption and cost to be deployed on a large scale. To get to a forecasted $80 billion market for wearables by 2020, devices “will have to fade into the background,” said Luc Van den Hov, chief executive of Imec in a keynote here. As for IoT, “current sensor platforms collect data but intuitive networks will have more intelligence to interpret data from multiple sensors with algorithms for data fusion,” he said. “Data fusion methodology and advanced algorithms enable us to combine data from different sensors such as temperature, several gasses, humidity, human presence detection and to derive contextual knowledge,” said Kathleen Philips, director of Imec’s IoT program, speaking in a press statement. The Imec/Holst smart shirt puts electronics in a removable SD card that slots into plastic pouch linked to flexible interconnects and sensors. The new air quality sensor from Imec and Holst is made in a GaN process. 12 Electronic Engineering Times Europe July-August 2015 www.electronics-eetimes.com


EETE JULAUG 2015
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