IBM Develops New Double-Gate Transistor

December 02, 2001 by Jeff Shepard

IBM Microelectronics (East Fishkill, NY) announced advances in the development of an alternate type of transistor that could lead to performance, function and power-consumption improvements in semiconductors within several years.

Called a "double-gate" transistor, the device can carry twice the electrical current, operate at up to twice the speed and be reduced in size below today's conventional transistors. The breakthrough was made possible by a series of innovations from IBM in new device designs and materials such as the SOI, a chip-making material that IBM developed. IBM's work on the double-gate transistor and the latest SOI developments will be presented at the International Electronic Device Manufactures conference in Washington, DC.

"SOI is changing the rules in semiconductors," said Bijan Davari, vice president of semiconductor development at IBM Microelectronics. "Other than getting smaller, the basic transistor has largely gone unchanged for decades, but it has now been shrunk nearly to a point where it will cease to function. Fortunately, our wealth of experience using SOI allows us to change the basic design of the transistor, permitting further shrinkage and other improvements."