FinFET Is Cool But IBM's Chilly Nanosheet Transistor Plays Nice With LN2 At -196C

ibm nanosheet transistor hero
IBM showed off how well nanosheet transistors hold up using liquid nitrogen, which can get as low as -196 °C, during the IEEE International Electron Device Meeting (IEDM) in San Francisco. According to IBM these are the first CMOS transistors that have been designed with liquid nitrogen cooling in mind, leading to better performance than the currently used FinFET transistors. Nanosheet transistors use stacks of silicon sheets that the gate then completely surrounds.

Researchers at IBM note that when operating at these incredibly low temperatures the nanosheet transistors were able to achieve twice the performance than the same transistors at room temperature. Power efficiency gains are also on the table, as the transistors require less power to switch between states when the temperature is lower.

ibm nanosheet transistor body

Nanosheet transistors could be supplanting FinFET transistors in the very near future. Senior researcher at IBM, Ruqiang Bao, says that “Nanosheet device architecture enables us to fit 50 billion transistors in a space roughly the size of a fingernail.” This technology is currently being used by IBM to make the prototypes for its 2-nanometer processors.

Seeing the results achieved by the researchers at IBM will certainly put a smile on the face of extreme overlockers, who often use liquid nitrogen in their quest to push CPUs to their limits. However, for everyday computer users this new technology will mean seeing the release of new devices that can take advantage of smaller chip designs made possible by these nanosheet transistors. Cool stuff, eh?
Tags:  IBM, LN2, transistors