Demonstration of monolithically integrated graphene interconnects for low-power CMOS applications
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Jing Kong and Anantha P. Chandrakasan.
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In recent years, interconnects have become an increasingly difficult design challenge as their relative performance has not improved at the same pace with transistor scaling. The specifications for complex features, clock frequency, supply current, and number of I/O resources have added even greater demands for interconnect performance. Furthermore, the resistivity of copper begins to degrade at smaller line widths due to increased scattering effects. Graphene has gathered much interest as an interconnect material due to its high mobility, high current carrying capacity, and high thermal conductivity. DC characterization of sub-50 nm graphene interconnects has been reported but very few studies exist on evaluating their performance when integrated with CMOS. Integrating graphene with CMOS is a critical step in establishing a path for graphene electronics. In this thesis, we characterize the performance of integrated graphene interconnects and demonstrate two prototype CMOS chips. A 0.35 prm CMOS chip implements an array of transmitter/receivers to analyze end-to-end data communication on graphene wires. Graphene sheets are synthesized by chemical vapor deposition, which are then subsequently transferred and patterned into narrow wires up to 1 mm in length. A low-swing signaling technique is applied, which results in a transmitter energy of 0.3-0.7 pJ/bit/mm, and a total energy of 2.4-5.2 pJ/bit/mm. We demonstrate a minimum voltage swing of 100 mV and bit error rates below 2x10-10. Despite the high sheet resistivity of graphene, integrated graphene links run at speeds up to 50 Mbps. Finally, a subthreshold FPGA was implemented in 0.18 pm CMOS. We demonstrate reliable signal routing on 4-layer graphene wires which replaces parts of the interconnect fabric. The FPGA test chip includes a 5x5 logic array and a TDC-based tester to monitor the delay of graphene wires. The graphene wires have 2.8x lower capacitance than the reference metal wires, resulting in up to 2.11x faster speeds and 1.54x lower interconnect energy when driven by a low-swing voltage of 0.4 V. This work presents the first graphene-based system application and demonstrates the potential of using low capacitance graphene wires for ultra-low power electronics.
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, 2011.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (p. 129-141).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.