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Variability of low frequency fluctuations in sub 45nm CMOS devices-Experiment, modeling and applications

Abstract : Low frequency (LF) noise and fluctuations in MOS devices has been the subject of intensive research during the past years. The LF noise is becoming a major concern for continuously scaled down devices, since the 1/f noise increases as the reciprocal of the device area. Excessive low frequency noise and fluctuations could lead to serious limitation of the functionality of the analog and digital circuits. The 1/f noise is also of paramount importance in RF circuit applications where it gives rise to phase noise in oscillators or multiplexors. The development of submicronic CMOS technologies has led to the onset of new type of noises, i.e. random telegraph signals (RTS), yielding large current fluctuations, which can jeopardize the circuit functionality. However, the statistical variability in the transistor characteristics is one of the major challenges for upcoming technological nodes. The detailed knowledge of variability sources is extremely important for the design and manufacturing of variability resistant devices. Whereas the impact of random dopants, line edge roughness and oxide thickness variations is relatively well understood, the role of the polysilicon or metal gate material has only lately been investigated in simulations and experimental confirmation and quantification of its contribution is still lacking. In addition, the study of LFN variability behavior and maybe its relation with the other factors of device variations has never been done. Therefore, the research challenges and objectives of this thesis are centered towards the studies of low frequency fluctuations and noise in 32 nm CMOS technologies and beyond. More specifically, the objectives of the LF noise investigation is summarized in the following points: i) Detailed LF noise characterization of new CMOS technologies featuring high-κ metal gate stacks, channel pockets etc, ii) change of LF noise parameters from different technologies and iii) impact of LF noise and RTS fluctuations as a variability sources for analog and digital circuits. The first objective addresses the origin of the LF fluctuations in CMOS devices in terms of trap density and defect localization in the gate dielectric and along the channel for various architectures (pocket, Ge channel, FD-SOI etc). The second objective considers the LF noise variability resulting from huge dispersion of noise sources from device to device; this is conducted owing to statistical measurements of LF noise characteristics as a function of device area and technological splits. The third issue is focused on the impact of LF noise or RTS fluctuations on the operation of elementary circuits (inverter, SRAM cell) regarded as temporal variability source.
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Submitted on : Thursday, January 23, 2014 - 12:13:14 PM
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Eleftherios Ioannidis. Variability of low frequency fluctuations in sub 45nm CMOS devices-Experiment, modeling and applications. Other. Université de Grenoble; 126 Aristote Univ of Thessaloniki, 2013. English. ⟨NNT : 2013GRENT031⟩. ⟨tel-00935273⟩

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