A New Era of Old Electronics

  • Hei Kam
  • Fred Chen
Part of the Microsystems and Nanosystems book series (MICRONANO, volume 1)


One of the criteria often overlooked in the adoption of any technology is the cost viability of that technology at scale. In the case of the semiconductor industry, it was born out of the need for a cost-effective computing solution to replace unsustainable predecessors that used mechanical parts [1], magnetic relays [2], and vacuum tubes [3]. The industry’s more recent success can be traced back to the early 1970s when the industry began to transition from bipolar junction transistors (BJTs) to metal-oxide-semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs). Despite producing relatively slower transistors, MOSFET technology offered a lower power alternative that required a lower complexity and integration-friendly manufacturing process [4]. This transition to MOSFETs, and subsequently complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technology, enabled the dramatic transistor scaling of the last several decades that has not only shrunk manufacturing cost but also yielded improvements in performance and functionality with each new technology generation. Combined with advancements in integrated circuit design, CMOS scaling has reduced the cost of data collection, computation, and communication such that it has fueled the adoption of electronics across an increasingly broad spectrum of applications [5].


Threshold Voltage Subthreshold Slope Electromechanical Device Integrate Circuit Design Subthreshold Leakage 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hei Kam
    • 1
  • Fred Chen
    • 2
  1. 1.Intel CorporationHillsboroUSA
  2. 2.Lion Semiconductor, Inc.BerkeleyUSA

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