Skybridge: 3-D Integrated Circuit Technology Alternative to CMOS

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pp. 1-52

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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,
SkybridgeTM, 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/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.