Intel's tri-gate transistor employs a novel 3-D structure, like a raised, flat plateau with vertical sides, which allows electronic signals to be sent along the top of the transistor and along both vertical sidewalls as well. This effectively triples the area available for electrical signals to travel, like turning a one-lane road into a three-lane highway, but without taking up more space. Besides operating more efficiently at nanometer-sized geometries, the tri-gate transistor runs faster, delivering 20 percent more drive current than a planar design of comparable gate size.
Intel researchers have developed "tri-gate" transistor design. This is one of the major breakthroughs in the VLSI technology. The transistor is aimed at bringing down the transistor size in accordance with the Mooreâ„¢s Law. The various problems transistors with very small size face have to be overcome. A reduction in power dissipation is another aim. This is to develop low power micro processors and flash memories.
The tri-gate structure is a promising approach for extending the TeraHertz transistor architecture Intel announced in December 2001. The tri-gate is built on an ultra-thin layer of fully depleted silicon for reduced current leakage. This allows the transistor to turn on and off faster, while dramatically reducing power consumption. It also incorporates a raised source and drain structure for low resistance, which allows the transistor to be driven with less power. The design is also compatible with the future introduction of a high K gate dielectric for even lower leakage.
Tri-gate transistors show excellent DIBL, high sub threshold slope, high drive and much better short channel performance compared to CMOS bulk transistor. The drive current is almost increased by 30%. The thickness requirement of the Si layer is also relaxed by about 2-3 times that of a CMOS bulk transistor.
Tri- gate transistors are expected to replace the nanometer transistors in the Intel microprocessors by 2010. 60 nm tri-gate transistors are already fabricated and 40 nm tri-gate transistors are under fabrication. Tri-gate transistor is going to play an important role in decreasing the power requirements of the future processors. It will also help to increase the battery life of the mobile devices.
A new transistor architecture that can significantly improve the electrostatics and short-channel performance is the tri-gate transistor, . This transistor, which can be fabricated either on the SOI substrate or standard bulk-silicon substrate, has a gate electrode on the top and two gate electrodes on the sides of the silicon body. The top-gate transistor has physical gate length LG and physical gate width WSi, while the side-gate transistor has physical gate length LG and physical gate width HSi,
According to X-bit Labs, the tri-gate transistors offer a 45% increase in drive current (switching speed) or 50 times reduction in off-current, and 35% reduction in transistor switching power than the currently 65nm transistors.the tri-gate technology could become the core of the future microprocessors after the 45nm process technology.