IBM is all set to demonstrate heat-maps of nanoscale devices at the IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting 2016 with the help of a more accurate method devised for the nanoscale age of sub-14 nanometer transistors. It first measures the thermal resistance of the point followed by its heat flux. This aids in generating accurate heat maps of tiny advices such as transistors and memory cells.
As per Bernd Gotsmann, a researcher at IBM lab in Zurich, until now it was quite difficult to measure the temperature of hot spots for the sub-14 nm transistors and memories. This is similar to the case of touching a piece of wood and metal. Both may carry same temperature but owing to the difference in their thermal resistance, they may seem to be at different temperatures. In order to solve this, IBM has fitted the tip of the atomic force microscope with a heat injector as well as a scanning probe thermometer to measure the heat flux.
First and foremost a known temperature (say a turned off transistor) is injected into the device and then the returned heat flux is measured by the probe’s thermometer. This step determines the difference in the thermal resistance so as to identify whether the temperature feels like the wood or metal. In the next step, the device-under-test is turned on and the probe’s thermometer measures its active thermal flux compensating for the thermal resistance. This eases in measuring temperature of devices, particularly at the sub-14 nm scale.
While the Atomic Force Microscope scans across the device’s surface, a heat map can be generated that would readily determine the hot-spots, which can be then set right by re-designing the details. The IBM group is developing a sub-nanometer resolution for the heat maps of sub-14 nanometer transistors and other memory devices. It aims at licensing the technology to semiconductor designers and claims that the entire heat map can be generated in just two minutes.
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