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Coming Together With III-V and CMOS

The Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology group SMART-LEES is working on exciting new integrated circuits, combining III-V materials and CMOS design tools and manufacturing processes.

The SMART-LEES group has some major partners in this endeavor, including Silicon CMOS powerhouses, Global Foundries, Singapore, PSCo, Aixtron, Germany, IQE, UK, EVG, and Samco, board members from IQE, Lumileds and Analog Devices, US.

With industry giants and incredibly astute companies following along with the progress of SMART-LEES, backing their research, the group has been able to make progress in creating these novel integrated circuits.

The process they are using takes 200 mm silicon wafers from CMOS manufacturing processes, and uses CMOS design tools to develop the novel ICs. The III-V layers are added and devices are fabricated. Then, the wafer goes back to have the III-V and silicon CMOS devices connected through die attach.

The end goal is to push novel integrated circuits onto the market. Test chips are expected to arrive on the scene shortly, along with prototypes. Ultimately, the group is aiming for a design kit for both III-V devices and CMOS.

The III-V semiconductors are being considered as a replacement for silicon in CMOS transistors. They are equipped with higher electron mobility so they can be made faster, smaller, and lower-power.

These semiconductors are already used in various applications, but because they have been historically expensive to produce, among other factors, they have not made it to the consumer market in any major way.

With enhancements in die attach and semiconductor technology, the SMART-LEES team is on the right track and these innovations are sure to spill over into the consumer world before long. The combination of III-V materials and CMOS is a great match that will be beneficial to various companies and industries.

Semiconductor technology is always changing and people are always trying to find new ways to make them less expensive to produce, smaller, faster, and more capable, while requiring less power. III-V and CMOS together can potentially go a long way in meeting many of those needs for the consumer market, as well as in higher-end technology and industries that can afford the current pricing for these integrated circuits.

Watch the work SMART-LEES is doing to learn more about III-V materials and CMOS.