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To a large extent, scaling was not seriously challenged in the past. However, a closer look reveals that early signs of scaling limits were seen in high-performance devices in recent technology nodes. To obtain the projected performance gain of 30% per generation, device designers have been forced to relax the device subthreshold leakage continuously from one to several nA/µm for the 250-nm node to hundreds of nA/µm for the 65-nm node. Consequently, passive power density is now a significant portion of the power budget of a high-speed microprocessor. In this paper we discuss device and material options to improve device performance when conventional scaling is power-constrained. These options can be separated into three categories: improved short-channel behavior, improved current drive, and improved switching behavior. In the first category fall advanced dielectrics and multi-gate devices. The second category comprises mobility-enhancing measures through stress and substrate material alternatives. The third category focuses mainly on scaling of SOI body thickness to reduce capacitance. We do not provide details of the fabrication of these different device options or the manufacturing challenges that must be met. Rather, we discuss the fundamental scaling issues related to the various device options. We conclude with a brief discussion of the ultimate FET close to the fundamental silicon device limit.
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