Monday, September 10, 2007

US Patent 7265376 - Vertical nanochannel non-volatile memory

Vertical nanochannel FETs are likely to be the next (last?) stage of electronic design that exploits Moore's law, which predicts an exponential increase in circuit density over time. This patent from Infineon Technologies is fairly fundamental to the use of vertical nanochannel FETs in electrically programmable memory. Claim 1 reads:

1. A nonvolatile memory cell comprising: a vertical field-effect transistor with a nanoelement designed as the channel region, the nanoelement containing at least one of a nanotube, a bundle of nanotubes, or a nanorod; and an electrically insulating layer, which at least partially surrounds the nanoelement, as a charge storage layer and as a gate-insulating layer such that electrical charge carriers can be selectively introduced into or removed from the electrically insulating layer and an electrical conductivity of the nanoelement can be influenced in a characteristic way by electrical charge carriers introduced in the electrically insulating layer.

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