What are Gate-All-Round transistors?

GAA transistors are field-effect transistors (FET) that feature gates wrapped on all four sides around ultrathin channels. This improved gate control of the channel overcomes the physical scaling and performance limitations of FinFETs and enables further supply voltage scaling.

What chip design challenges does Samsung’s MBCFET address?

Nanoscale High-k Metal Gate based FINFET transistors are reaching physical and electrostatic scaling limits. A new transistor is necessary to continue performance, power and area scaling when designing chips at the most advanced technology process nodes.

Which process node does Samsung plan to start using its GAA transistor technology?

Samsung’s 3nm will be the first process node to use GAA transistor technology.

When will Samsung’s MBCFET be in mass production?

Samsung expects to be in mass production with MBCFET transistors by 2022.

How does Samsung’s MBCFET transistor technology differ from other forms of GAA?

GAA based FETs (GAAFETs) can come in a variety of form factors. Some research has focused on nanowire-based GAAFETs, with a small effective channel width and making the channel as thin as possible. These type of GAAFETs are typically useful for low power designs, but are difficult to manufacture. Another implementation makes the channel from ultrathin horizontal nanosheets, thereby increasing the effective channel width, which affords benefits towards performance and continued scaling. This nano-sheet based GAAFET is what Samsung calls a Multi-Bridge Channel FET, or MBCFET.

How long has Samsung been working on its GAA transistor technology?

Samsung has been working on GAA transistor technology since the early 2000s.

What does GAA actually do for the overall chip design?

MBCFET GAA technology ensures that the gate is not only on the top and the sides of the channel, but also below the channel. This horizontal gate wrap around architecture allows a GAA design to have high area efficiency by stacking transistors vertically, rather than laterally. While transistor widths in FinFET designs are inherently quantized, MBCFET GAA provides designers with flexibility in choosing transistor widths like in conventional planar bulk technologies.