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Unisantis, IME to develop
Surrounding Gate Transistor in S’pore
Leading technology research
and development company Unisantis Electronics (Japan) and the Institute of
Microelectronics (IME) have announced a collaborative research agreement to
develop the world’s first three-dimensional transistor locally.
A team of researchers will be assembled in Singapore to develop the device,
known as the Surrounding Gate Transistor (SGT). The team will be headed by
Unisantis’ chief technology officer Fujio Masuoka.
A world-renowned scientist, Prof Masuoka invented the flash memory storage
format that allows handheld gadgets like digital cameras and MP3 players to
retain stored information even after they are switched off. He has also been
involved in the research and development into numerous types of computing
memory devices, including programmable read-only memory and random access
According to Prof Masuoka, next-generation integrated circuit (IC) chips
fabricated with the SGT could be up to 10 times faster than existing chips
built using conventional, two dimensional transistors with
horizontally-arranged components. In addition, SGT-based chips could
generate less heat and cost less to produce compared to existing ones.
“The SGT also allows further improvements in silicon-based semiconductors,
in terms of transistor size and processing speed, for at least 30 more years
before the theoretical limits are reached. Such improvements are necessary
for new-generation IC chips to meet the computing power demanded by IT
products and computing networks of ever-increasing functionality and
complexity,” said Prof Masuoka, who has been awarded the prestigious 2007
Medal with Purple Ribbon by Emperor Akihito of Japan and the 2005 Innovation
Award by The Economist.
Both organisations envision the team of researchers to comprise academics,
engineers and scientists from countries including Singapore, China, Korea,
Malaysia and Taiwan.
IME will provide its expertise in silicon nanoelectronics research and
complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processing, as well as
state-of-the-art laboratory facilities at its premises in Science Park II
for prototype development.
Commented Prof Kwong Dim-Lee, Executive Director of IME, "The collaboration
with Unisantis will enable IME to utilise our expertise in silicon
nanoelectronics and our state-of-the-art wafer processing facilities to
realise the SGT."
The agreement will be in place for 24 months beginning immediately, and may
be extended if necessary.