Skip to Main Content
In this paper, we propose MOSFETs that are suitable for subthreshold digital circuit operations. The MOSFET subthreshold circuit would use subthreshold leakage current as the operating current to achieve ultralow power consumption when speed is not of utmost importance. We derive the theoretical limit of delay and energy consumption in MOSFET subthreshold circuit, and show that devices that have an ideal subthreshold slope are optimal for subthreshold operations due to the smaller gate capacitance, as well as the higher current. The analysis suggests that a double gate (DG)-MOSFET is promising for subthreshold operations due to its near-ideal subthreshold slope. The results of our investigation into the optimal device characteristics for DG-MOSFET subthreshold operation show that devices with longer channel length (compared to minimum gate length) can be used for robust subthreshold operation without any loss of performance. In addition, it is shown that the source and drain structure of DG-MOSFET can be simplified for subthreshold operations since source and drain need not be raised to reduce the parasitic resistance.