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1 Author(s)
Thomas H Lee ; Stanford Univ., Stanford, CA, USA

The decade of spectrum centered about 1THz represents a "last frontier." Compelling applications include medical imaging; security and environmental monitoring; identification of toxins and other dangerous substances; and extreme wideband (XWB) wireless communications. Current technologies - both semiconductor and optical - serve this spectrum poorly, for rather fundamental reasons. Scaling will ultimately deliver transistors capable of useful small-signal gain at these frequencies, but full exploitation of the THz band requires minimum transmit powers in the 1-10 mW range, representing three orders of magnitude beyond current projections. This talk will describe the origins of the gap as well as the ineffectiveness of conventional scaled semiconductor devices to fill it. A description of a class of devices that promise to provide the required capabilities will conclude the talk.

Published in:

2011 24th Internatioal Conference on VLSI Design

Date of Conference:

2-7 Jan. 2011