IHP Develops The World's Fastest Silicon-Based Transistor

At the International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) held in San Francisco from 3-7 December, 2016, IHP introduced the world's fastest silicon-based transistor. The project which was named ‘DOTSEVEN’, was funded by the European Union. The four-year project, together with Infineon and twelve other project partners from a total of six countries - focused on developing SiGe HBTs with a maximum oscillation frequency (fmax) of 0.7 THz. The presented fmax values exceed the best values of current production technologies by a factor of two. Such transistors will enable the realization of wire-bound and wireless communication systems with data rates over 100 Gb/s. With the fast HBTs the performance of radar systems, such as in personal cars, can be increased by reducing power consumption or increasing range and spatial resolution. Dr. Bernd Heinemann, project manager at IHP, presented results on silicon-germanium heterobipolar transistors (SiGe HBTs) during the forum meet.

In addition, the transistors enable new applications which have not been possible so far on silicon. These newly emerging fields of application include imaging processes in the frequency range of 0.3 to 1 terahertz, which can be used for example for material testing, for safety inspections, for medical biopsies or for the detection of air pollution in the atmosphere. It should be emphasized that these components are compatible with established silicon technologies. Thus, they are suitable as key elements for cost-effective systems in a broad market.

The International Electron Devices Meeting (IEDM) has been the world’s preeminent forum for reporting technological breakthroughs in the areas of semiconductor and electronic device technology, design, manufacturing, physics, and modeling for more than sixty years.