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Posted by Robert Allen on IET RF & Microwave Technology Network Mar 19, 2015 4:25 GMT

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Here is a copy of an update I made on Linkedin recently:

There has been a lot of discussion recently on Linkedin, regarding “Moores Law”, which fits the observation that, over the history of computing hardware, the number of transistors (or active devices) in a dense integrated circuit has doubled approximately every two years.
The speculation frequently revolves around when this law will begin to break down, and what the smallest feature size will be for current semiconductor technology.

In 1994 an Atomistic model of the semiconductor lattice of the semiconductor, was developed at the University of Surrey, in part, to answer this question, allowing the simulation of certain active devices down to 40-50 Å (angstroms). This software model allowed the electronic behavior of small 3D macro devices at individual carrier level, down to around a cube of 7 atoms a side, or around 340 atoms, to be determined.

The smallest geometry, permitting the process of current amplification, at that time, was around 40Å, for the simple planar device structure used.

Given the current state of the art fabrication process is now at 100Å (10nm), the technology is fast approaching the limit predicted by this model. Of course, it may take many more years to approach this predicted limit, given a similar device technology and structure, and current investment levels.

The recent conference paper: “Exploring Ultra Low Noise Semiconductor devices”, INSPEC: ISBN:978-1-84919-793-9 / Conference No. 2013/004, was based on the use of, and the results from this model.

The underlying research for this paper can be accessed from the British Library, using the link

This research has since been downloaded in 24+ countries, with Germany, USA and China being the top three countries.
  • Posted Sun 24 May 2015 07:21 BST

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This network covers science, technology and applications operating at frequencies ranging from Gigahertz through to Terahertz. Our aim is to bring together existing and future professionals working in this area of the electromagnetic spectrum. To achieve this we hold informal seminars and workshops for both industry and academia, highlighting state-of-the-art technologies in new and emerging areas. So far our chosen areas of application have ranged from meta-materials, medicine, passive imaging for Earth science and security, along with high power sources for material processing!

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