Fourth generation semiconductor technology to power modern computing

By Raghu Ram, Senior Vice President, Endpoint Solutions Group, Redington Limited
The increasing demand for high-quality electronic devices, such as laptops, desktops, and wireless communication equipment, the rise of cloud-based computing, and the rollout of 5G have necessitated the advancement of semiconductors that we are using today. The segment has undergone significant transformation as it works to meet the growing demand for robust quality chips to support the expansion of businesses across all industries. The most important change of the time is the development of the next-generation semiconductors which are expected to encourage innovation and propel the manufacturing of smart devices, offering astounding performance.

Manufacturing of smart electronic devices and their efficiencies heavily depend on the capacity of semiconductor chips. Most of the features of electronic equipment are decided based on the power of a chip. Today, when the world is changing fast and technological advancement has become inevitable to satisfy the aspirations of people and businesses, the development and implementation of next-generation semiconductor technologies have become a necessity to create cutting-edge devices for the future. Typical semiconductors are not capable enough to support the storage and processing of an enormous amount of data being generated today. Besides, they have other imperfections such as current and data leaks that hinder the path of technological evolution.

This is the reason why the demand for high-performing semiconductor devices has been increasing for applications in different fields. The advent of new-age technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), and the Cloud has offered us unprecedented opportunities to move fast toward tech advancement. But the truth is that we can realise their real potential with impeccable semiconductor chips only.
Next Gen semiconductors enhance the efficiency

Although IC and electronic components built on Si substrates currently dominate the semiconductor industry, these products nevertheless have several limitations in high-power and high-frequency components and systems. To overcome these restrictions, structural designs are always being improved, and new and cutting-edge materials are being created. Today, the third generation SiC and GaN-based semiconductors are being employed frequently in a variety of associated industries.

However, fourth-generation ultra-wide bandgap gallium oxide (Ga2O3), exceeding 4eV, diamond, and other new-gen materials are drawing the attention of manufacturers due to the myriad advantages it offers. They are replete with qualities we were looking for years to eliminate the bottlenecks in developing high-performing devices. Primarily, the production of gallium oxide substrate is simpler than that of SiC and GaN. Furthermore, the material’s ultra-wide bandgap allows it to maintain a high breakdown voltage and critical electric field at higher voltages.

The greater bandgap enables improved power efficiency, better thermal performance, and higher frequency which are the need for today’s devices. The semiconductors also offer better thermal conductivity, allowing quicker heat transfer, as well as higher saturation velocity, enabling higher current and higher frequency. They also have high breakdown strength, allowing for higher voltage and more compactness.

In addition, fourth-generation semiconductors are more compact than earlier generations, which will help devices weigh less. The enormous amount of data being generated across industries can be handled with ease because of the fast processing capacity of the semiconductors. This will make it easier to use data more effectively, which is now a valuable asset.

Moreover, all high-level computer languages are supported by these semiconductors, increasing system capacity and enhancing operator efficiency. The low maintenance requirements enable users to work without concern for any repairs at frequent intervals. Most importantly, they are more economical versions of semiconductors, which will lower the cost of producing devices.

We now can fully harness the potential of cutting-edge technology while removing several worries, thanks to the fourth-generation device. This will, most crucially, democratise technology and hasten its evolution across segments. Future technological development in the industry will also proceed, with technologists continuing to push the boundaries.

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