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On the Applicability of Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes as VLSI Interconnects

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4 Author(s)
Navin Srivastava ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA ; Hong Li ; Franz Kreupl ; Kaustav Banerjee

This paper presents a comprehensive study of the applicability of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) as interconnects in nanoscale integrated circuits. A detailed analysis of SWCNT interconnect resistance (considering its dependence on all physical parameters, as well as factors affecting the contact resistance), the first full 3-D capacitance simulations of SWCNT bundles for realistic very large scale integration (VLSI) interconnect dimensions, and a quantitative evaluation of the importance of inductive effects in SWCNT interconnects are presented. The applicability of carbon nanotube (CNT) based vias (vertical interconnects)-the most realizable CNT interconnects in the current state of the art-is addressed for the first time. It is shown that CNT interconnects can provide 30%-40% improvement in the delay of millimeter-long global interconnects. The applicability of CNT monolayers as local interconnects is found to be much more limited than that reported in the prior literature. Dense CNT bundle global interconnects are shown to offer a 4times reduction in power dissipation while achieving the same delay as optimally buffered Cu interconnects at the 22 nm node. This power saving increases to 8times at the 14 nm node. Furthermore, 3-D finite-element electrothermal simulations show that CNT bundles used as vias in between Cu metal layers can provide large improvement in metal interconnect lifetime by lowering the temperature of the hottest interconnects.

Published in:

IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 4 )