Skybridge: 3-D Integrated Circuit Technology Alternative to CMOS

Mostafizur Rahman, Santosh Khasanvis, Jiajun Shi, Mingyu Li, Csaba Andras Moritz

Continuous scaling of CMOS has been the major catalyst in miniaturization of integrated circuits (ICs) and crucial for global socio-economic progress. However, scaling to sub-20nm technologies is proving to be challenging as MOSFETs are reaching their fundamental limits and interconnection bottleneck is dominating IC operational power and performance. Migrating to 3-D, as a way to advance scaling, has eluded us due to inherent customization and manufacturing requirements in CMOS that are incompatible with 3-D organization. Partial attempts with die-die and layer-layer stacking have their own limitations. We propose a 3-D IC fabric technology, Skybridge[TM], which offers paradigm shift in technology scaling as well as design. We co-architect Skybridge's core aspects, from device to circuit style, connectivity, thermal management, and manufacturing pathway in a 3-D fabric-centric manner, building on a uniform 3-D template. Our extensive bottom-up simulations, accounting for detailed material system structures, manufacturing process, device, and circuit parasitics, carried through for several designs including a designed microprocessor, reveal a 30-60x density, 3.5x performance per watt benefits, and 10X reduction in interconnect lengths vs. scaled 16-nm CMOS. Fabric-level heat extraction features are shown to successfully manage IC thermal profiles in 3-D. Skybridge can provide continuous scaling of integrated circuits beyond CMOS in the 21st century.

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