Advanced Energy-Efficient Devices for Ultra-Low Voltage System: Materials-to-Circuits
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The overall energy consumption of portable devices has been projected to triple over the next decade, growing to match the total power generated by the European Union and Canada by 2025. The rise of the internet-of-things (IoT) and ubiquitous and embedded computing has resulted in an exponential increase in such devices, wherein projections estimate that 50 billion smart devices will be connected and online by 2020. In order to alleviate the associated stresses placed on power generation and distribution networks, a holistic approach must be taken to conserve energy usage in electronic devices from the component to the circuit level. An effective approach to reduce power dissipation has been a continual reduction in operating voltage, thereby quadratically down-scaling active power dissipation. However, as state-of-the-art silicon (Si) complimentary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) field-effect transistors (FETs) enter sub-threshold operation in the ultra-low supply voltage regime, their drive current is noticeable degraded. Therefore, new energy-efficient MOSFETs and circuit architectures must be introduced. In this work, tunnel FETs (TFETs), which operate leveraging quantum mechanical tunneling, are investigated. A comprehensive investigation detailing electronic materials, to novel TFET device designs, to memory and logic digital circuits based upon those TFETs is provided in this work. Combined, these advances offer a computing platform that could save considerable energy and reduce power consumption in next-generation, ultra-low voltage applications.
- Doctoral Dissertations