The piezoelectronic transistor: A nanoactuator-based post-CMOS digital switch with high speed and low power

Xiao Hu Liu's picture

A review article of our research at IBM TJ Wason Research Center in piezoelectronic transistor, an exploratory device beyond silicon, is published in MRS Bulletin, Volume 37, Issue 11, November 2012, pp 1071-1076. Your future computer may depend even more on the mechanics.


Moore’s law of transistor
scaling, the exponential increase in the number of complementary metal
oxide semiconductor (CMOS) transistors per unit area, continues
unabated; however, computer clock speeds have remained frozen since
2003. The development of a new digital switch, the piezoelectronic
transistor (PET), is designed to circumvent the speed and power
limitations of the CMOS transistor. The PET operates on a novel
principle: an electrical input is transduced into an acoustic pulse by a
piezoelectric element which, in turn, is used to drive a continuous
insulator-to-metal transition in a piezoresistive element, thus
switching on the device. Performance is enabled by the use of key high
response materials, a relaxor piezoelectric, and a rare-earth
chalcogenide piezoresistor. Theory and simulation predict, using bulk
material properties, that PETs can operate at one-tenth the present
voltage of CMOS technology and consuming 100 times less power while
running at multi-GHz clock speeds. A program to fabricate prototype PET
devices is under way.