Saturday 22 December 2007

Inventor of Flash Memory Plans 3D Super Processors In 2 Years

If his plans are successful, the inventor of flash memory is just a few steps away from delivering three-dimensional semiconductors that will give us processing chips running at ten times the speed of current-generation designs.

Fujio Masuoka, CTO of Unisantis Electronics in Japan, has announced a deal to work on his 3D chip designs with Singapore’s Institute of Microelectronics to take advantage of the island nation’s government facilities and specialists. They will be developing the worlds first 3D Transistor known as the Surrounding Gate Transistor (SGT)

According to Prof Masuoka, the SGT comprises a vertical silicon pillar surrounded by memory cells, electrical contacts and other components. Such a design methodology greatly reduces the distance that electrons – which transmit information-bearing electrical signals – must travel within the SGT. Next-generation IC chips fabricated with the SGT could be up to 10 times faster than existing chips built using conventional, two dimensional transistors with horizontally-arranged components. In addition, SGT-based chips could generate less heat and cost less to produce compared to existing ones.

Fujio Masuoka, who invented flash memory while at Toshiba, says he intends to pay royalties to the Singapore government while licensing the new super chips to major manufacturers.

Interesting to note however that the computer chips we currently use are manufactured on a 2D surface by technique called photo-lithographical etching, so one is left holding the baby on not understanding how the new chip will actually be built, perhaps it will be printed using this device ?

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