Listening to the transistors

The facts and the project

Tomorrow’s micro and nanotechnologies are being prepared using today’s supercomputers. The simulations can both help in improving current technologies and in identifying the most promising ones for future generations of electronic components (transistors). Carried out by the CEA, working with STMicroelectronics, and supported by the ANR, these simulations made possible, for the first time using existing industrial technologies, a better understanding of and the identification of the complex mechanisms (impurities, surface roughness, vibrations of atom, etc.) that can limit the flow of current in a transistor and thus alter its functioning.

The results

Using innovative codes that required the huge computing power of GENCI’s Curie supercomputer, these led to the creation of standardised numerical methods for verifying the performance of transistors. These results validated an approach that is continuing in 2014 with the evaluation of technologies (wire-transistors, new materials, etc.) under development for the end of the decade.


6.5 million core hours on Curie (CEA/TGCC)

Principal Investigator: Yann-Michel Niquet - collaboration CEA/DSM, CEA/DRT and STMicroelectronics