Thursday, March 06, 2008

US Patent 7339186 - IC chip with dummy nanowires

This patent from Infineon teaches a memory device that uses nanowires in an interesting way. The doping of the nanowires is changed to make nonfunctional areas of the memory which makes the content of the memory more difficult to determine by covert observation. Presumably applications are for storing classified or highly secure data. Claim 1 reads:

1. An IC chip comprising an electronic circuit formed with a plurality of nanowires as vertical conductors, vertical diodes or vertical transistors, arranged in a dielectric layer wherein at least one of said nanowires is provided as a dummy, wherein the dummy is unsuitable as a vertical conductor, vertical diode or vertical transistor: wherein at least one dummy is formed by a relevant nanowire being interrupted by a dielectric region formed in the nanowire between first and second doped region; and the nanowires are silicon and the dielectric region is silicon dioxide or silicon nitride.