Review Articles
  • Architecture, challenges and applications of dynamic reconfigurable computing

    Yanan Lu, Leibo Liu, Jianfeng Zhu, Shouyi Yin, Shaojun Wei

    J. Semicond.  2020, 41 (2): 021401

    doi: 10.1088/1674-4926/41/2/021401

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    As a computing paradigm that combines temporal and spatial computations, dynamic reconfigurable computing provides superiorities of flexibility, energy efficiency and area efficiency, attracting interest from both academia and industry. However, dynamic reconfigurable computing is not yet mature because of several unsolved problems. This work introduces the concept, architecture, and compilation techniques of dynamic reconfigurable computing. It also discusses the existing major challenges and points out its potential applications.

  • A survey of FPGA design for AI era

    Zhengjie Li, Yufan Zhang, Jian Wang, Jinmei Lai

    J. Semicond.  2020, 41 (2): 021402

    doi: 10.1088/1674-4926/41/2/021402

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    FPGA is an appealing platform to accelerate DNN. We survey a range of FPGA chip designs for AI. For DSP module, one type of design is to support low-precision operation, such as 9-bit or 4-bit multiplication. The other type of design of DSP is to support floating point multiply-accumulates (MACs), which guarantee high-accuracy of DNN. For ALM (adaptive logic module) module, one type of design is to support low-precision MACs, three modifications of ALM includes extra carry chain, or 4-bit adder, or shadow multipliers which increase the density of on-chip MAC operation. The other enhancement of ALM or CLB (configurable logic block) is to support BNN (binarized neural network) which is ultra-reduced precision version of DNN. For memory modules which can store weights and activations of DNN, three types of memory are proposed which are embedded memory, in-package HBM (high bandwidth memory) and off-chip memory interfaces, such as DDR4/5. Other designs are new architecture and specialized AI engine. Xilinx ACAP in 7 nm is the first industry adaptive compute acceleration platform. Its AI engine can provide up to 8X silicon compute density. Intel AgileX in 10 nm works coherently with Intel own CPU, which increase computation performance, reduced overhead and latency.

  • A survey of neural network accelerator with software development environments

    Jin Song, Xuemeng Wang, Zhipeng Zhao, Wei Li, Tian Zhi

    J. Semicond.  2020, 41 (2): 021403

    doi: 10.1088/1674-4926/41/2/021403

    Abstract Full Text PDF Get Citation

    Recent years, the deep learning algorithm has been widely deployed from cloud servers to terminal units. And researchers proposed various neural network accelerators and software development environments. In this article, we have reviewed the representative neural network accelerators. As an entirety, the corresponding software stack must consider the hardware architecture of the specific accelerator to enhance the end-to-end performance. And we summarize the programming environments of neural network accelerators and optimizations in software stack. Finally, we comment the future trend of neural network accelerator and programming environments.

  • Progress on the controllable synthesis of all-inorganic halide perovskite nanocrystals and their optoelectronic applications

    Yi Yuan, Aiwei Tang

    J. Semicond.  2020, 41 (1): 011201

    doi: 10.1088/1674-4926/41/1/011201

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    In the past five years, all-inorganic metal halide perovskite (CsPbX3, X = Cl, Br, I) nanocrystals have been intensely studied due to their outstanding optical properties and facile synthesis, which endow them with potential optoelectronic applications. In order to optimize their physical and chemical properties, different strategies have been developed to realize the controllable synthesis of CsPbX3 nanocrystals. In this short review, we firstly present a comprehensive and detailed summary of existed synthesis strategies of CsPbX3 nanocrystals and their analogues. Then, we introduce the regulations of several reaction parameters and their effects on the morphologies of CsPbX3 nanocrystals. At the same time, we provide stability improvement methods and representative applications. Finally, we propose the current challenges and future perspectives of the promising materials.

  • Boron-doped III–V semiconductors for Si-based optoelectronic devices

    Chao Zhao, Bo Xu, Zhijie Wang, Zhanguo Wang

    J. Semicond.  2020, 41 (1): 011301

    doi: 10.1088/1674-4926/41/1/011301

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    Optoelectronic devices on silicon substrates are essential not only to the optoelectronic integrated circuit but also to low-cost lasers, large-area detectors, and so forth. Although heterogeneous integration of III–V semiconductors on Si has been well-developed, the thermal dissipation issue and the complicated fabrication process still hinders the development of these devices. The monolithic growth of III–V materials on Si has also been demonstrated by applying complicated buffer layers or interlayers. On the other hand, the growth of lattice-matched B-doped group-III–V materials is an attractive area of research. However, due to the difficulty in growth, the development is still relatively slow. Herein, we present a comprehensive review of the recent achievements in this field. We summarize and discuss the conditions and mechanisms involved in growing B-doped group-III–V materials. The unique surface morphology, crystallinity, and optical properties of the epitaxy correlating with their growth conditions are discussed, along with their respective optoelectronic applications. Finally, we detail the obstacles and challenges to exploit the potential for such practical applications fully.

  • The application of perovskite materials in solar water splitting

    Yanbin Huang, Jun Liu, Yanchun Deng, Yuanyuan Qian, Xiaohao Jia, Mengmeng Ma, Cheng Yang, Kong Liu, Zhijie Wang, Shengchun Qu, Zhanguo Wang

    J. Semicond.  2020, 41 (1): 011701

    doi: 10.1088/1674-4926/41/1/011701

    Abstract Full Text PDF Get Citation

    Solar water splitting is a promising strategy for sustainable production of renewable hydrogen, and solving the crisis of energy and environment in the world. However, large-scale application of this method is hampered by the efficiency and the expense of the solar water splitting systems. Searching for non-toxic, low-cost, efficient and stable photocatalysts is an important way for solar water splitting. Due to the simplicity of structure and the flexibility of composition, perovskite based photocatalysts have recently attracted widespread attention for application in solar water splitting. In this review, the recent developments of perovskite based photocatalysts for water splitting are summarized. An introduction including the structures and properties of perovskite materials, and the fundamentals of solar water splitting is first provided. Then, it specifically focuses on the strategies for designing and modulating perovskite materials to improve their photocatalytic performance for solar water splitting. The current challenges and perspectives of perovskite materials in solar water splitting are also reviewed. The aim of this review is to summarize recent findings and developments of perovskite based photocatalysts and provide some useful guidance for the future research on the design and development of highly efficient perovskite based photocatalysts and the relevant systems for water splitting.

  • Strain tunable quantum dot based non-classical photon sources

    Jingzhong Yang, Michael Zopf, Fei Ding

    J. Semicond.  2020, 41 (1): 011901

    doi: 10.1088/1674-4926/41/1/011901

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    Semiconductor quantum dots are leading candidates for the on-demand generation of single photons and entangled photon pairs. High photon quality and indistinguishability of photons from different sources are critical for quantum information applications. The inability to grow perfectly identical quantum dots with ideal optical properties necessitates the application of post-growth tuning techniques via e.g. temperature, electric, magnetic or strain fields. In this review, we summarize the state-of-the-art and highlight the advantages of strain tunable non-classical photon sources based on epitaxial quantum dots. Using piezoelectric crystals like PMN-PT, the wavelength of single photons and entangled photon pairs emitted by InGaAs/GaAs quantum dots can be tuned reversibly. Combining with quantum light-emitting diodes simultaneously allows for electrical triggering and the tuning of wavelength or exciton fine structure. Emission from light hole exciton can be tuned, and quantum dot containing nanostructure such as nanowires have been piezo-integrated. To ensure the indistinguishability of photons from distant emitters, the wavelength drift caused by piezo creep can be compensated by frequency feedback, which is verified by two-photon interference with photons from two stabilized sources. Therefore, strain tuning proves to be a flexible and reliable tool for the development of scalable quantum dots-based non-classical photon sources.

  • Deep-ultraviolet integrated photonic and optoelectronic devices: A prospect of the hybridization of group III–nitrides, III–oxides, and two-dimensional materials

    Nasir Alfaraj, Jung-Wook Min, Chun Hong Kang, Abdullah A. Alatawi, Davide Priante, Ram Chandra Subedi, Malleswararao Tangi, Tien Khee Ng, Boon S. Ooi

    J. Semicond.  2019, 40 (12): 121801

    doi: 10.1088/1674-4926/40/12/121801

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    Progress in the design and fabrication of ultraviolet and deep-ultraviolet group III–nitride optoelectronic devices, based on aluminum gallium nitride and boron nitride and their alloys, and the heterogeneous integration with two-dimensional and oxide-based materials is reviewed. We emphasize wide-bandgap nitride compound semiconductors (i.e., (B, Al, Ga)N) as the deep-ultraviolet materials of interest, and two-dimensional materials, namely graphene, two-dimensional boron nitride, and two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides, along with gallium oxide, as the hybrid integrated materials. We examine their crystallographic properties and elaborate on the challenges that hinder the realization of efficient and reliable ultraviolet and deep-ultraviolet devices. In this article we provide an overview of aluminum nitride, sapphire, and gallium oxide as platforms for deep-ultraviolet optoelectronic devices, in which we criticize the status of sapphire as a platform for efficient deep-ultraviolet devices and detail advancements in device growth and fabrication on aluminum nitride and gallium oxide substrates. A critical review of the current status of deep-ultraviolet light emission and detection materials and devices is provided.

  • Recent progress of SiC UV single photon counting avalanche photodiodes

    Linlin Su, Dong Zhou, Hai Lu, Rong Zhang, Youdou Zheng

    J. Semicond.  2019, 40 (12): 121802

    doi: 10.1088/1674-4926/40/12/121802

    Abstract Full Text PDF Get Citation

    4H-SiC single photon counting avalanche photodiodes (SPADs) are prior devices for weak ultraviolet (UV) signal detection with the advantages of small size, low leakage current, high avalanche multiplication gain, and high quantum efficiency, which benefit from the large bandgap energy, high carrier drift velocity and excellent physical stability of 4H-SiC semiconductor material. UV detectors are widely used in many key applications, such as missile plume detection, corona discharge, UV astronomy, and biological and chemical agent detection. In this paper, we will describe basic concepts and review recent results on device design, process development, and basic characterizations of 4H-SiC avalanche photodiodes. Several promising device structures and uniformity of avalanche multiplication are discussed, which are important for achieving high performance of 4H-SiC UV SPADs.

  • The fabrication of AlN by hydride vapor phase epitaxy

    Maosong Sun, Jinfeng Li, Jicai Zhang, Wenhong Sun

    J. Semicond.  2019, 40 (12): 121803

    doi: 10.1088/1674-4926/40/12/121803

    Abstract Full Text PDF Get Citation

    Aluminum nitride (AlN) is the promising substrates material for the epitaxial growth of III-nitrides devices, such as high-power, high-frequency electronic, deep ultraviolet optoelectronics and acoustic devices. However, it is rather difficult to obtain the high quality and crack-free thick AlN wafers because of the low surface migration of Al adatoms and the large thermal and lattice mismatches between the foreign substrates and AlN. In this work, the fabrication of AlN material by hydride vapor phase epitaxy (HVPE) was summarized and discussed. At last, the outlook of the production of AlN by HVPE was prospected.

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