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FinFET Evolution
The foundation of modern electronics is the CMOS transistor. In the last 17 years, CMOS technology has made significant steps in terms
of the materials used in manufacture and architecture.
The first great leap was the introduction of strain engineering at the 90 nm technology node. Subsequent steps were the metal gate with
a high-k dielectric at 45 nm, and the FinFET architecture at the 22 nm node.
The year 2012 marked the birth of the first commercial 22nm FinFET. Subsequent improvements to the FinFET architecture allowed for
improved performance and reduced area. The 3D nature of the FinFET has many advantages, like increasing the fin height to get a
higher drive current at the same footprint.
Figure 2 shows the evolution of MOSFET structures: double-gate, tri-gate, pi-gate, omega-gate, and gate-all-around. Double-gate and
tri-gate FinFETs are common due to their simple structure and ease of fabrication.
Although the GAA device was proposed before the FinFET, the latter was more comfortable for executing production.
What is a FinFET?
A FinFET is a transistor. Being a transistor, it is an amplifier and a switch. Its applications include
home computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, wearables, high-end networks, automotive, and
more.
FinFET stands for a fin-shaped field-effect transistor. Fin because it has a fin-shaped body –
the silicon fin that forms the transistor’s main body distinguishes it. Field-effect because an
electric field controls the conductivity of the material.
A FinFET is a non-planar device, i.e., not constrained to a single plane. It is also called 3D for having a
third dimension.
Choosing FinFET devices instead of traditional MOSFETs happens for a variety of reasons. Increasing
computational power implies increasing computational density. More transistors are required to achieve this,
which leads to larger chips. However, for practical reasons, it is crucial to keep the area about the same.
As previously stated, one way of achieving more computational power is by shrinking the transistor’s size.
But as the transistor’s dimensions decrease, the proximity between the drain and the source lessens the gate
electrode’s ability to control the flow of current in the channel region. Because of this, planar MOSFETs
display objectionable short-channel effects.
Shrinking the gate length (Lg) below 90 nm produces a significant leakage current, and below 28 nm, the
leakage is excessive, rendering the transistor useless. So, as the gate length is scaled down, suppressing
the off‐state leakage is vital.
Another way to increase computational power is by changing the materials used for manufacturing the chips,
but it may not be suitable from an economic standpoint.
Why Use FinFET Devices in Place of MOSFETs?
Computing FinFET Transistor Width (W)
The channel (fin) of the FinFET is vertical. This device requires keeping in mind specific dimensions.
Evoking Max Planck’s “quanta,” the FinFET exhibits a property known as width quantization: its width is a
multiple of its height. Random widths are not possible.
The fin thickness is a crucial parameter because it controls the short-channel behavior and the device’s
subthreshold swing. The subthreshold swing measures the efficiency of a transistor. It is the variation in
gate voltage that increases the drain current one order of magnitude.
● Lg = gate length
● T = fin thickness
● Hfin = fin height
● W = transistor width (single
fin)
● Weff = effective transistor
width (multiple fins)
For double-gate: W = 2 ∙ Hfin
For tri-gate: W = 2 ∙ Hfin + T
Multiple fins will increase the
transistor width.
Weff = n ∙ W
Where n = number of fins
FinFET Advantages
● Better control over the channel
● Suppressed short-channel effects
● Lower static leakage current
● Faster switching speed
● Higher drain current (More drive-
current per footprint)
● Lower switching voltage
● Low power consumption FinFET Disadvantages
● Difficult to control dynamic Vth
● Quantized device-width. It is
impossible to make fractions of the
fins, whereby designers can only
specify the devices’ dimensions in
multiples of whole fins.
● Higher parasitics due to 3-D profile
● Very high capacitances
● Corner effect: electric field at the
corner is always amplified compared
to the electric field at the sidewall.
This can be minimized using a nitrate
layer in corners.
● High fabrication cost

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FINfet.pptx

  • 1. FinFET Evolution The foundation of modern electronics is the CMOS transistor. In the last 17 years, CMOS technology has made significant steps in terms of the materials used in manufacture and architecture. The first great leap was the introduction of strain engineering at the 90 nm technology node. Subsequent steps were the metal gate with a high-k dielectric at 45 nm, and the FinFET architecture at the 22 nm node. The year 2012 marked the birth of the first commercial 22nm FinFET. Subsequent improvements to the FinFET architecture allowed for improved performance and reduced area. The 3D nature of the FinFET has many advantages, like increasing the fin height to get a higher drive current at the same footprint. Figure 2 shows the evolution of MOSFET structures: double-gate, tri-gate, pi-gate, omega-gate, and gate-all-around. Double-gate and tri-gate FinFETs are common due to their simple structure and ease of fabrication. Although the GAA device was proposed before the FinFET, the latter was more comfortable for executing production.
  • 2. What is a FinFET? A FinFET is a transistor. Being a transistor, it is an amplifier and a switch. Its applications include home computers, laptops, tablets, smartphones, wearables, high-end networks, automotive, and more. FinFET stands for a fin-shaped field-effect transistor. Fin because it has a fin-shaped body – the silicon fin that forms the transistor’s main body distinguishes it. Field-effect because an electric field controls the conductivity of the material. A FinFET is a non-planar device, i.e., not constrained to a single plane. It is also called 3D for having a third dimension.
  • 3. Choosing FinFET devices instead of traditional MOSFETs happens for a variety of reasons. Increasing computational power implies increasing computational density. More transistors are required to achieve this, which leads to larger chips. However, for practical reasons, it is crucial to keep the area about the same. As previously stated, one way of achieving more computational power is by shrinking the transistor’s size. But as the transistor’s dimensions decrease, the proximity between the drain and the source lessens the gate electrode’s ability to control the flow of current in the channel region. Because of this, planar MOSFETs display objectionable short-channel effects. Shrinking the gate length (Lg) below 90 nm produces a significant leakage current, and below 28 nm, the leakage is excessive, rendering the transistor useless. So, as the gate length is scaled down, suppressing the off‐state leakage is vital. Another way to increase computational power is by changing the materials used for manufacturing the chips, but it may not be suitable from an economic standpoint. Why Use FinFET Devices in Place of MOSFETs?
  • 4. Computing FinFET Transistor Width (W) The channel (fin) of the FinFET is vertical. This device requires keeping in mind specific dimensions. Evoking Max Planck’s “quanta,” the FinFET exhibits a property known as width quantization: its width is a multiple of its height. Random widths are not possible. The fin thickness is a crucial parameter because it controls the short-channel behavior and the device’s subthreshold swing. The subthreshold swing measures the efficiency of a transistor. It is the variation in gate voltage that increases the drain current one order of magnitude.
  • 5. ● Lg = gate length ● T = fin thickness ● Hfin = fin height ● W = transistor width (single fin) ● Weff = effective transistor width (multiple fins) For double-gate: W = 2 ∙ Hfin For tri-gate: W = 2 ∙ Hfin + T Multiple fins will increase the transistor width. Weff = n ∙ W Where n = number of fins
  • 6. FinFET Advantages ● Better control over the channel ● Suppressed short-channel effects ● Lower static leakage current ● Faster switching speed ● Higher drain current (More drive- current per footprint) ● Lower switching voltage ● Low power consumption FinFET Disadvantages ● Difficult to control dynamic Vth ● Quantized device-width. It is impossible to make fractions of the fins, whereby designers can only specify the devices’ dimensions in multiples of whole fins. ● Higher parasitics due to 3-D profile ● Very high capacitances ● Corner effect: electric field at the corner is always amplified compared to the electric field at the sidewall. This can be minimized using a nitrate layer in corners. ● High fabrication cost