Interconnects for post-CMOS devices: physical limits and device and circuit implications
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The objective of this dissertation is to classify the opportunities, advantages, and limits of novel interconnects for post-CMOS logic that can augment or eventually replace the CMOS logic. Post-CMOS devices are envisaged on the idea of using state variables other than the electron charge to store and manipulate information. In the first component of the thesis, a comprehensive analysis of the performance and the energy dissipation of novel logic based on various state variables is conducted, and it is demonstrated that the interconnects will continue to be a major challenge even for post-CMOS logic. The second component of the thesis is focused on the analysis of the interconnection aspects of spin-based logic. This research goal is accomplished through the development of physically-based models of spin-transport parameters for various metallic, semiconducting, and graphene nanoribbon interconnects by incorporating the impact of size effects for narrow cross-sectional dimensions of all-spin logic devices. Due to the generic nature of the models, they can be used in the analysis of spin-based devices to study their functionality and performance more accurately. The compact nature of the models allows them to be easily embedded into the developing CAD tools for spintronic logic. These models then provide the foundation for (i) analyzing the spin injection and transport efficiency in an all-spin logic circuit with various interconnect materials, and (ii) estimating the repeater-insertion requirements in all-spin logic, and (iii) estimating the maximum circuit size for all-spin logic. The research is crucial in pinpointing the implications of the physical limits of novel interconnects at the material, device, circuit, and architecture levels.