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A History of MOS Transistor Compact Modeling

C-T Sah
University of Florida, US

MOSFET, MOST, Compact Model, Device Physics, History

The MOSFET (Metal-Oxide-Silicon Field-Effect- Transistor) or MOS Transistor (MOST) is a three dimensional electronic device. It operates on the conductivity modulation principle in a thin semiconductor layer by a controlling electric field to give amplifying and switching functions between three electrical terminals (input, output and common) connected to the film. This principle was first proposed 80 years ago (1926) by Lilienfeld. A review was given by this author in 1988 on the evolution of the MOS transistor. A detailed tutorial exposition of the MOST Compact Modeling is planned. Electrical characterization experiments and mathematical theory began 45 years ago (1959) when stable silicon oxides were grown on nearly perfect (crystalline, low defect) silicon semiconductor by Atalla, Tannenbaum and Scheibner at Bell Telephone Laboratories. Simple analytical compact models of the MOS transistors are needed for computer-aided design of digital and analog integrated circuits containing millions of transistors on a silicon chip, using circuit simulators such as SPICE. This paper gives a device-physics-based description of the history of MOS transistor compact modeling, from the threshold voltage model used in the first versions of SPICE to the two latest advances under development, the charge control (or inversion charge) model and the surface potential model.

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