IEEE Electron Device Letters, R&D Magazine, AZoNano.com, MachineDesign.Com, and other publications published news out of Georgia Institute of Technology about achieving a significant milestone earlier this year in transistor performance. Electrical engineers at the university determined that a transistor built at Germany’s IHP-Innovations for High-Performance Microelectronics is the world’s fastest silicon-based transistor chip, clocking in at 798 GHz fMAX. This is 200 GHz faster than the previous record holder!
You can read all about their work here. Georgia Tech researchers used a Lake Shore cryogenic probe station to cool the silicon-germanium chip to 4.3 K to achieve these speeds. Although these operating speeds were achieved at extremely cold temperatures, the research suggests that record speeds at room temperature aren't far off, said Professor John D. Cressler, who led the research for Georgia Tech.
This is an excellent example of how measuring material properties as a function of temperature is important to the development of faster electronic devices. The probe station used for these measurements (shown in the photos below) operates with liquid helium and is an earlier version of our Model CPX. This station has been supporting research in Professor Cressler’s group for many years.
In fact, this isn’t the first time this Lake Shore probe station has played a role in groundbreaking chip-speed research at Georgia Tech. In 2006, the university teamed with IBM in setting a chip speed record for that time, as summarized in this New York Times article.