Performance Analysis of Interconnects Based on Carbon Nanotubes for AMS/RF IC Design

Performance Analysis of Interconnects Based on Carbon Nanotubes for AMS/RF IC Design

Rafael Vargas-Bernal (Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Irapuato, Mexico)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-6627-6.ch014
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Abstract

Electrical interconnects are essential elements to transmit electrical current and/or to apply electrical voltage to the electronic devices found in an integrated circuit. With the introduction of carbon nanotubes in electronic applications, efficient and high-speed interconnects have allowed for optimizing the electrical performance of the integrated circuits. Additionally, technical problems, such as electromigration, large values of parasitic elements, large delays, and high thermal dissipation, presented in metallic interconnects based on copper, can be avoided. This chapter presents a performance analysis of interconnects used in AMS/RF IC design based on carbon nanotubes as the physical material where electrical variables are provided.
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Background

Interconnect has as main objective distributing power, ground, clock and other signals in an integrated circuit (IC). ICs need solutions to local, intermediate and global wiring (Li, J. 2003). In specific, the latency of global interconnects has not scaled with the technology, and therefore, extraordinary impacts on design architectures (List, 2006). RC delay per unit length of interconnects increases quadratically due to the simultaneous reduction in conductor height and width with scaling. The delays of the 300 nm long (8,8), (9,0) and (12,0) metallic CNTs were estimated by means simulation in computer, and values of 18.44 fs, 18.82 fs and 19.18 fs, respectively (Yamacli, 2011). Generally, the challenges in interconnect technology arise from both material requirements and difficulties in processing. The electrical properties of carbon nanotubes are particularly interesting for nanoelectronics due to ballistic transport, that is, electrical transport without electrical resistance except at the contacts (Graham, 2004). However, several technical aspects must be overcome before CNTs can be successfully used in IC design. With the aim of validating this technology, CNT technology must be better than silicon technology in the following critical technical aspects:

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