Cracks are a bad thing in general, but they might help speed up chips.
AmberWave Systems, which specializes in semiconductor substructures, discussed a new method for growing germanium and other, faster semiconductor materials on top of silicon at the recent Semicon West conference, according to the Technology Review magazine of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In a nutshell, AmberWave digs trenches of about 500 nanometers deep in silicon. The trenches are then filled with germanium. This causes the silicon to crack, but the cracks go up only about half of the height of the trench wall. Regular germanium can be … Read more